Tilt Renewables’ massive Dundonnell wind farm in Victoria is gradually powering back up one week after the project was shut down after a 73 metre, 70 tonne blade fell off one of the project’s 80 newly installed Vestas turbines.
Tilt said on Monday that 25 of the wind farm’s unaffected turbines had been cleared to resume production already, while the remainder would be progressively returned to service “in a safe manner” over the next week to 10 days after undergoing inspections and tests.
The damaged turbine, meanwhile, is expected to require several weeks more of repairs, while a root cause investigation into the blade detachment incident is still being conducted.
“Until the root cause investigation has been completed and any required remedial actions are implemented, all operational turbines will be subjected to an additional regular inspection regime, with Vestas deploying additional resources to the site for this purpose,” Tilt said in a statement.
As RenewEconomy reported last week, the incident on October 5 – which occurred around 7.30pm on Monday night on a turbine that was operating at the time – was just the latest setback for the 336MW project.
The facility has been operating at less than half of its rated capacity because of constraints imposed by the Australian Energy Market Operator due to unspecified commissioning issues.
On the up-side, Tilt said the turbine “blade detachment incident” was not expected to further delay the ongoing commissioning process with the Australian Energy Market Operator, and the project was still expected to progress through the remaining hold points towards full operation over the remainder of the year.
This will be a relief to Tilt, which had just two weeks ago announced that Dundonnell had been allowed to use all its 80 turbines, and move to a new “hold point” of 150MW.