Local Benefits of Gullen Range Wind Farm Demonstrated

Gullen Range Wind Farm

11 October 2014

Anyone wondering about the benefits to the region of renewables should just follow the steady stream of trucks and utes from Goulburn to Grabben Gullen.

Machinery, concrete, sand, gravel as well as labour, services and equipment hire are all being supplied by local companies to the Gullen Range Wind Farm.

According to Goldwind’s Project Manager Mr Ben Bateman at least 70 per cent of the 115 workers on the wind farm are locals with $13m already being spent on goods and services in the local region and $5m spent on the local roads.

Goulburn earthmoving company Tutt Bryant is one of the companies supplying plant and machinery including loaders, excavators, rollers, tractors and graders to assist with road works, cabling, and to help with oversized loads.

Mr Ben Zyla the local manager of Tutt Bryant said they have engaged the services of a dozen or so subcontractor companies to supply the needs of the site and employed 4 additional staff to supply the workload.

“Most of the local earthmoving businesses involved will have delivered over $2milion of works to the project.

“This is a major boost to the local economy as there are very limited large projects on at the moment.

“The Southern Tablelands has long been identified as a major wind resource area. It is quite ridiculous for us not to take advantage of this and turn natural energy into clean power generation.

“Rural towns are struggling with limited development. The area’s mainstay, agriculture, is on a gradual decline so we need to be making better use of the land.

“I know of a shearer who has left the industry after many years and has been re-trained to do maintenance on wind turbines and has never been happier.

“The impact of wind farms on agriculture and communities is very little compared with the benefits.

“Sure the construction stage does impact on locals with major road movements of equipment to site, but in the process, we keep work local and the developers contribute major funding to upgrade the roads after completion.”

In addition to the locals working on the wind farm Justin said he is blown away by the number of people the wind farm has brought to the region to live and work on the project during construction.

“I couldn’t believe the numbers of blokes from out of town in the supermarket queue in Goulburn the other day who I know are working on the wind farm.”

Tuttm Bryant is joined by Divalls, APE Earthmoving, Designcrete, Concrete 4 Goulburn, fencing contractors, pubs, motels, and cafes all benefiting from the wind farm construction phase

In addition to all the regional benefits the wind farm will power approximately 60,000 homes when it becomes operational in 2014 while continuing with its other agricultural and farming activities.

Wind farm making the most of local workforce

Locals are getting the lion’s share of the jobs on the construction phase of the Gullen Range Wind Farm.

Goldwind Australia’s project manager Ben Bateman said wherever possible we have tapped into the region’s skilled and unskilled local work force.

“Seventy per cent of our team constructing the Gullen Range Wind Farm comes from the local area. We’ve got local crane operators, truck drivers, electricians, labourers and others. A lot of these blokes
know each other from around the traps.”

Mr Jock Shutzendorff, who lives just out of Goulburn, is one local who was saw the opportunity and went knocking on Goldwind’s door.

“I spent 15 years operating heavy machinery but now I am the Quality and Logistics Coordinator for
the Gullen Range Wind Farm. It’s been a big learning curve and I’m learning something new most days.”

“A typical day for me includes taking delivery of parts of the wind turbines, inventory and some
computer work.

“We’ve got a wide range of jobs, from managers, engineers, office staff, OH&S, electricians, and other
subcontractors such as fitters, crane drivers, riggers and earthmoving.”

Crookwell crane operator Mr Adrian Baty is another local who saw the opportunity to get involved in the project.

“Working on the wind farm has given me a steady income and a chance to get more experience of this growing industry so I can get more work later,” he said.

Mr Shutzendorff agrees: “There are a lot of wind farms in the region, it is a windy place. Wind farms are a good source of employment.”

Mr Bateman said the wind farm construction is progressing very well with construction, commissioning and testing to be completed by mid 2014 providing jobs to locals in their own community and injecting cash back to the region. to local roads.

Project Update

The construction program at GRWF is progressing with significant milestones being achieved; The final foundation was poured on 26th September which, along with the completion of almost all the onsite roads, means that the civil works involved on the project are now largely complete. This means that construction traffic will reduce significantly.

The switchyard for the project which connects the project to the TransGrid transmission network is now complete with the contractors (UGL) now demobilising from the site. This is a significant achievement which allows the project to export green energy to customers on the network.

The delivery of the components will be extended to a further 10 weeks. As with the current delivery schedules, all loads will be carried through in the early hours and under Police escort to ensure minimal disruption to the local communities of Goulburn and Upper Lachlan Shire.

Goldwind would like to thank the communities surrounding Gullen Range Wind Farm for their ongoing patience and support during the project.