Wind energy is the energy of moving air. This energy can be transformed into electricity, fed into the grid and then used to power our homes and industries. We have been generating electricity from the wind for more than 100 years but there has been a resurgence in the last 40 years. Wind power is back in favour for some very good reasons.
There is an everlasting supply of wind energy and in harnessing the wind, there is no pollution, no greenhouse gases – just a clean, renewable, sustainable energy supply. Throughout the world wind energy technology is well proven and cost effective. It is one of the fastest growing electricity generation technology.
If you’re interested in how wind can be turned into electricity, the Wind with Miller website provides some interesting resources on wind technology. Find it here.
What is a Wind Farm and a Wind Turbine?
Typical elements in a wind farm consists of (sizing based off a typical turbine currently available on the market):
Access Tracks: approx. 5 m trafficable width on straights and 7.5 m on corners with appropriate drainage constructed where required. Constructed from crushed rock to a standard that allows for all weather access. Layout is completed in consultation with landholders with consideration to existing & future (cropping or grazing) land uses.
Hardstands: approx. 40 x 60 m; located adjacent to the turbine to provide a level, dry working surface during the construction, maintenance and decommissioning of a turbine.
Underground Cable: underground cable is installed to depth of approx. 1 m. This connects the turbines together and then to the national electricity grid and typically runs in a direct line utilizing the shortest path. Existing agricultural operations can continue after installation.
Turbine Foundation: turbine foundations have a typical diameter of 20 m – 25 m and are constructed from reinforced concrete. Majority of the foundation is below ground level apart from the centre ‘cylinder’ where the turbine tower attaches.
Grid Connection: including terminal station and overhead powerlines lines.
Overhead Powerline: typically mono pole towers.
Temporary Construction Areas : areas required during the construction period which include concrete batching plants and staging zones as well as temporary lay down areas for turbine components such as blades and tower sections. These areas will be returned to existing agricultural use once construction is complete.