CONSTRUCTION of the 220kV underground line to connect Mortlake South Wind Farm to the National Electricity Grid via the Terang Terminal Station started last week.
After extensive community consultation, Mortlake South Wind Farm developer ACCIONA made the decision to install the 15 kilometre connection line underground.
The decision is a win for locals after concerns were voiced regarding visual impairment and increased bushfire risk if the lines were installed above ground.
Mortlake South Wind Farm project manager Andrew Tshaikiwsky said community feedback led to the decision to install the connection underground.
“ACCIONA is committed to working with local communities in which we operate, to provide tailored solutions to sustainable development,” he said.
“ACCIONA is unique in that we develop, construct, own and operate our wind farms, which means we are embedded in the local community for the long-term life of our assets.
“The underground connection has no visual impact on the landscape and the decision demonstrates our commitment to working closely with communities to develop and deliver bespoke local solutions.”
ACCIONA Energy Australia managing director Brett Wickham said the process of underground installation was more expensive for the developer but was “the right thing to do for this project.”
Mr Tshaikiwsky said traffic controls will be in place when works are occurring within the road reserves on Riley Road, Bramich Lane and Keilambete Road.
“Construction activities will commence from Tapps Lane within the Mortlake South Wind Farm construction area, with staged works progressing towards the Terang Terminal Station,” he said.
“The cable route follows the disused rail corridor between Mortlake and Terang, turning into the road reserves on Bramich Lane, Keilambete Road and Riley Road. The cable then progresses through private land into the Terang Terminal Station.
“We will continue to work closely with Moyne and Corangamite shires, local landholders and services providers throughout construction to ensure they are informed about the construction method and progress.”