WestWind Energy proposes the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The project, consisting of over 228 turbines each up to 230 m tall, at the tip of the turbines, along 12 km of rolling plains north of the Otway Basin, required excavations to depths of some 3.5 m to provide sufficient foundations for each turbine. While the total footprint of the turbines themselves is small, the area includes sites of natural significance in the form of groundwater-dependent ecosystems, with associated Federal regulation.

Water Technology was commissioned by WestWind Energy to engage with Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Golden Plains Shire Council regarding groundwater concerns surrounding the development.

Scope:

Surface hydrology and hydraulic review undertaken for a wind farm development.

Location:

Golden Plains

Client:

West Wind Energy

Key to the stakeholder engagement was a hosted site visit with the Corangamite CMA and the Golden Plains Shire Council where project workflow was discussed, a site inspection was carried out and monitoring of initial groundwater levels was undertaken. A second site visit considered salinised zones due to groundwater expression and updated the statewide water-table database with current measurements. Water Technology staff worked with WestWind Energy to relocate a dozen turbines away from sensitive areas to an area where the water table had dropped over the past thirty years. This was important to the client as ongoing groundwater monitoring requirements were minimised for their Environmental Effects Statement submission and they were able to retain over thirty turbines that would otherwise have been removed from the proposed development.

WestWind Energy

The interaction between surface water and groundwater is a primary consideration at the Golden Plains site, and the groundwater team worked closely with the surface water personnel during the project. By sharing resources and knowledge, this resulted in an improved outcome for WestWind Energy.

West Wind Energy - w-wind.com.au

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