Codrington wind farm passes midlife health check

27 September 2012

One of Australia’s first wind farms, the 18.2MW Codrington wind farm, has just passed its midlife health check according to Pacific Hydro’s general manager for Australia, Mr Lane Crockett.

“Since it started producing electricity in 2001, the Codrington wind farm has generated 495,593 megawatt hours of electricity or the equivalent energy needs of around 8,000 homes annually, abating over half a million tonnes of carbon emissions,” said Mr Crockett.

The midlife health check is a bit like the major service for your car. All componentry of the turbines is thoroughly checked and inspected for signs of aging or under performance. This includes checking, and in some cases upgrading componentry such as gears that enable the turbines to turn and face into the wind, called yaw rings, and electrical elements.

“The review and upgrade of some componentry within the turbines will increase turbine efficiency and improve the project’s operation,” said Mr Crockett.

“And despite the harsh coastal environment that the project is located in, the health check showed that the project is performing in accordance with our expectations.”

The Codrington wind farm is located about 20 minutes’ drive west of Port Fairy on farmland that abuts the ocean. The project was the first wind farm in Victoria and one of the first for the nation.

In 2001 the 14, 1.3 MW turbine project was a large wind farm for its day. Today it is one of the smallest operating in the country.

Ten years of operations has ensured that the Codrington wind farm is well and truly part of the local community. Wind farm tours run by local residents Tim and Carmel Brady, which began in 2001, continue to this day enabling thousands of visitors to get a first-hand experience of the wind farm.

And the project is contributing to the local community. The Codrington and Yambuk Sustainable Communities Fund, which returns a portion of revenue from the projects’ operation back into the local community, has contributed $386,380 into 93 community projects operating in the local area.

“The Codrington wind farm was Pacific Hydro’s first wind project so it has a special significance for the company as well as in the community,” added Mr Crockett.

For more information on wind farm tours visit myportfairy.com/windfarmtours