The Ararat Windfarm is the first of its kind in Victoria, Australia, and it was quickly accredited as a Green Power Generator under the National Green Power Accreditation Program. The project supports the local economy while protecting natural resources and creating clean green electricity. HeidelbergCement subsidiary Hanson Australia worked in conjunction with Downer Australia to create the windfarm for project-developer RES.

The original windfarm project-plans called for approximately 25,000 m3 of concrete, with 75 turbines each 135 m high and requiring approximately 350 m3. Concrete was used not only in the construction of the turbines for the windfarm, but also in the surrounding and supporting structures; these included slabs for the back-up generator; bund walls, fire walls, and auxiliary walls; as well as plinths and slabs for the main transformer. To ensure a dedicated supply of concrete to the windfarm site, while still maintaining standard production in the area, one of the Hanson mobile concrete batching plants was relocated from Western Australia to Ararat.

The concrete mixes used on the windfarm project were specially designed by the Hanson technical department to meet both the project technical requirements and also the needs of the concrete placers, and project engineers. One method used to ensure mixes used were fit for task was a “hot box trial” conducted prior to project commencement. Differing ratios of additives and water were trialled in the test mixes with the technical team then monitoring core temperature and temperature rise over 28 days. 

Another challenge in providing concrete supply to the windfarm was the availability of raw materials. Cement and aggregates had to be stockpiled at the mobile plant to ensure continuous supply of concrete at a minimum pouring rate of 50 m3 per hour. The site was required to hold 125% capacity of the required materials for the projected day’s usage. This proved to be quite a logistical challenge as the plant’s aggregate source was two hours away in Heywood and the cement source at least three hours away in Port Melbourne. Careful planning and open communication from the project team meant that raw materials arrived in time to start each pour. 

After months of hard work, in February 2017, the final of 75 turbines at the Windfarm was erected and the operation was off and running, generating enough green electricity to power 120,000 homes.

Further information

Project Data

  • Partners Group / OPTrust

    Owner

  • Downer Australia

    Contractor

  • 2017

    Completion

Location

Ararat Windfarm 3377 Ararat (Australia)

Ararat Windfarm, Australia. HeidelbergCement subsidiary Hanson Australia worked in conjunction with Downer Australia to create the windfarm for project-developer RES.