ARARAT Wind Farm’s final wind turbine was installed at the site on Friday, in a major milestone for the $450 million project.
Wind farm general manager Stuart Liddell said favorable weather conditions last week allowed the last of 75 turbines to be completed by contractor Mammoet Wind.
Cable trenching and installation at the site by RJE Global has also been completed.
The last major tasks for the wind farm project is to connect cables to the turbines to transport electricity generated to the substation and into the grid, commissioning of the remaining turbines and site rehabilitation.
Mr Liddell said he was confident the project’s principal construction partner, GEDowner will continue to deliver these remaining tasks on or ahead of schedule to achieve project completion by May 4, 2017.
Ararat Wind Farm operator Renewable Energy Systems (RES) announced the major construction contracts in June 2015 and work began the following November.
Ararat Rural City Mayor Paul Hooper said the project had been completed on time despite heavy rainfall late last year.
“I think RES is pretty happy with the outcome.” he said.
“There is no doubt that the town has benefited dramatically whilst the construction phase has been underway, in terms of houses being rented, in terms of the hospitality industry, in terms of clothing and the likes.
“The town has benefited to the tune of more than $40 million, according to rental data, and there was additional benefits for the town during construction.”
Cr Hooper said there would undoubtedly be a drop off in economic benefits when the project moves to the operational stage.
“We had, at times, 350 contractors working on site so we will be sad to see them go,” he said.
“There is no doubt the town will feel the loss once the construction crews are finished.
“In terms of ongoing employment, I think there were 12 jobs to be had from maintenance, and that’s a net gain to the community as well.”
Cr Hooper said RES had been a good corporate citizen during the wind farm’s construction.
“Ararat Rural City is always on the lookout for the next project,” he said.
When completed, the project will have a generation capacity of 240 megawatts, which is enough to power 120,000 homes.
The Ararat Wind Farm has a contract to supply 40 per cent of its electricity to the Australian Capital Territory.