Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is located approximately 35 km west of Ballarat between Beaufort and Skipton in western Victoria. The 530MW wind farm comprises one hundred and forty-nine Goldwind 3.57MW turbines erected on 100m tall steel towers. Once completed Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will be the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere and the lowest cost wind energy developments in Australia.. In December 2017, Goldwind contracted a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and WBHO to construct the Balance of Plant at the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm. Robert Bird Group was engaged by the SNCL-WBHO JV to undertake civil and structural design and construction engineering Construction commenced in May 2018.

Project Value:
$900 million
Year Completed:
2019
Building Metrics:
149 x 3.57MW wind turbines with capacity to supply electricity up to 390,000 homes; 103km of new roads; foundations designs include gravity, anchored and a hybrid gravity-anchored.

Sectors:
Infrastructure, Energy
Client: SNC-Lavalin – WBHO Joint Venture
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering Civil Engineering Construction Engineering

The civil engineering design completed by RBG (Sept 2018) includes the design of over 103 Km of new road and hardstand areas for each of the 149 wind turbines over an area greater than 11,000 Ha. The civil design also includes all drainage infrastructure and the associated operating and maintenance hardstand areas and temporary laydown areas across the four precincts of the wind farm. Civil design was delivered in 3D modelling with supporting documentation and reports.

The structural engineering design completed by RBG comprised several different wind turbine foundation types based on ground conditions of the site. The turbine tower foundations included gravity, anchored and a hybrid anchored/piled foundation system. This is the first use of such a hybrid system in Australia. The construction engineering completed by RBG include site inspections of civil and structural elements.

Key technical challenges

RBG redesigned the steel plunge columns enabling complex bracing arrangements and programme hold-points to be removed, hence simplifying excavation and improving health and safety. The ground floor slab was redesigned for significant construction loads and to prop the basement wall whilst maintaining a large void to allow the core to rise.

RBG also checked all permanent works elements for the temporary loads induced by the innovative construction sequence. The construction method further reduced the ground movements, thereby minimising the risk to sensitive network rail facilities adjacent to the site.

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