Construction has concluded, demobilisation activities have commenced
Works currently taking place
- Commissioning, reliability testing of turbines at Elaine.
- Demobilisation at both Yendon and Elaine, removal of site sheds etc.
- Metmast installation at Elaine.
- Rehabilitation works will continue Elaine.
A turbine blade at Yendon was struck by a lightning strike in September. The stub of this blade at Yendon tower 9 has been removed and a new blade will be installed sometime in November 2019. See information below from Vestas regarding this blade incident.
Around 6:40pm local time on 15 September 2019, a blade broke and fell to the ground from a V136-3.6 MW turbine at Lal Lal Wind Farm in the Moorabool Shire of Victoria, Australia. No injuries or property damage occurred as a result.
The impacted area was cordoned off, and a Vestas crisis management team formed within 12 hours. In the early morning of 16 September, the team:
- notified WorkSafe Victoria
- notified the customer and owners of Lal Lal Wind Farm
- as a standard precautionary safety measure, suspended the operation of all turbines at Lal Lal Wind Farm
Vestas understands that prior to the blade break, the site experienced severe weather conditions, including lightning. Based on a turbine inspection carried out by Vestas technicians on 16 September, Vestas confirms that the damaged turbine was struck by lightning. On the afternoon of 16 September, the team decided to resume operation on all turbines at the Lal Lal Wind Farm, except those in the Yendon section which remain under inspection. The on-site technical team is investigating the root cause.
Having concluded its response, the crisis management team has now dissolved and has appointed Pierre Pretorius, Vestas AUNZ Construction Director, to manage the inspection process to determine and communicate the root cause.
At Vestas, safety is our absolute priority. Within 12 hours of the incident occurring, Vestas took immediate action, including: (i) securing the incident zone, (ii) initiating a proactive inspection of all other turbines at the wind park, (iii) temporarily suspending all operations at the wind park until each turbine had been individually inspected.
In terms of our turbines and projects more generally, Vestas actively monitors the statistical likelihood of extreme weather incidents. We are aware that these events, while rare, do occur; we therefore go to great lengths in our engineering design and planning to minimise risks to physical safety or property in the surrounding area. The fact that this incident occasioned no such damage shows the effectiveness of these efforts. If there was ever any suggestion that this, or any other wind farm, posed a safety risk, we would cease operations immediately.
Aviation lights, radar activated in Yendon
Aviation lights at Yendon are now being activated by radar. The aviation lights at Elaine are still being tested. A test flight will take place over Elaine, some time in November, similar to Yendon. After testing has been completed the aviation lights will then be activated by radar.
Commercial and light aircraft fly over Lal Lal Wind Farms. This is the reason why aviation lights are a planning permit requirement for safety reasons. Lal Lal Wind Farms is the first wind farm project in Australia, to use the latest technology of radar activated aviation lights.
Expectations to the radar system.
The number one priority is aviation safety, the second priority is minimizing lights switched on time.
Some facts regarding aviation lights being triggered by radar in darkness or fog/mist conditions:-
- We normally aim for the lights to be on for 5% of the time, or less.
- The time is based on the hours of darkness. (E.g. 10hrs x 5% = 30mins)
- This is an average value, some nights it will be close to 0%, others might be 20%. Each time the lights are triggered, we would expect them to be on for between 2 and 10 minutes, dependent on the track etc.
- It is a CASA (Civil Aviation and Safety Authority) requirement that the radar will detect aircraft, up to 4000 metres from turbines .
Lal Lal Wind Farms has no jurisdiction over the amount or frequency of aircraft flying over the wind farm.
Community information, Buninyong Information Centre
Community information and enquiries have reverted back to the Buninyong Information Centre, 408 Warrenheip Street, Buninyong. Project information, enquiries, landscaping application forms and lodgement are available on the following days and times:-
- Mondays, 8.30am to 12.30pm
- Wednesdays, 12.30pm to 4pm
- Fridays, 8.30am to 12.30pm
Completed landscaping application forms can be dropped off at the Buninyong Information Centre through the mail slot in the entry door, in between the above days and times.
Landscape Screening Program, have you applied for a payment or landscaping?
Landscaping is available for the owners of dwelling within 4kms of the nearest turbine. Application forms are available on the website and also through the Buninyong Information Centre.
When submitting an application form for either a landscaping payment or landscaping, please include a recent copy of a Council rates notice, as proof of ownership of the dwelling. The landscaping program will remain open, 12 months after the last turbine has been commissioned.