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Reported by NEXANS on 10 December 2018

Nexans and Marais Laying Technologies Australia unite their forces for the construction of the largest onshore wind farm in Australia

  • Nexans and Marais Laying Technologies Australia, a Tesmec Group subsidiary, have partnered in a consortium to provide a complete collector cable service for Australia’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm;
  • The consortium has been awarded a contract worth over 12 million euros (around 20 million AUD) by the project’s contractor SNC-Lavalin to design, manufacture, supply, install and test 275 km of 33 kV collector cables for the 530 MW onshore wind farm that will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere;
  • The project relies on a unique design methodology for wind and solar farm collector networks developed to boost cost savings of the wind farm and supported by Nexans Research Center of Lyon;
  • Trenching and laying of the 33 kV power cables, fiber optics and earthing cables for the first collector group of 13 turbines were started by Marais Laying Technologies Australia in the fourth quarter of 2018.

(Courtesy of Nexans, société anonyme)

Nexans, a global leader in advanced cabling and connectivity solutions, and Tesmec S.p.A., at the head of a group leader in the market of infrastructures related to the transport and distribution of energy, data and materials, today announced that the consortium between Nexans and Tesmec’s subsidiary Marais Laying Technologies Australia has been selected by the Goldwind Australia’s Stockyard Hill project’s Balance of Plant contractor SNC-Lavalin and WHBO joint venture to provide a complete collector cable service. The contract covers the design, manufacturing, supply, installation and testing of the cable network and is worth over 12 million euros (around 20 million AUD), of which approximately 5.2 million euros (around 9.1 million AUD) will be attributed to Nexans.

Marais Laying Technologies Australia brings to the consortium its expertise in the automated trenching and laying of long lengths of single-core cable. The Marais SMC 200 R Trencher will be used to cut around 130 km of narrow trench while simultaneously laying the cables and backfilling. The highly automated approach provides close control of the trenching process. This enables the cross-section of the trench to be minimized while still providing the protection essential to maintain the cable ratings, so that less sand is used in the construction of the wind farm.

For the Stockyard Hill project Nexans is providing its range of Nexans WINDLINK® solutions consisting of a variety of 33 kV power cables manufactured at Nexans China facility in Yanggu, China, with aluminium conductor cross-sections ranging from 95 mm2 to 1,000 mm2. Building on its industry-leading expertise in network engineering, Nexans offers a unique capability to manufacture the cables in long continuous lengths, allowing for an optimized cable network layout with a minimum number of joints. As part of its complete end-to-end service, Nexans Olex subsidiary Nexans Australmold is also supplying the underground junction cabinets for the cables, the indoor terminations for the substation connections and the tower end ring main unit (RMU) connections.

A total of 275 km of 33 kV Nexans WINDLINK® cables will be installed in trenches to collect the electricity produced by the individual wind turbines and feed it into three 33/132 kV substations that will connect the wind farm to the local grid.

As the medium voltage (MV) collector system is one of the key expenditures in wind and solar farm projects, the Nexans and Marais Laying Technologies Australia consortium also created a unique design methodology to help Goldwind Australia address its CAPEX and OPEX challenges at Stockyard Hill. Supported by Nexans Research Center in Lyon, France, the new integrated service allows to optimise the turbine collector grouping and MV system layout, design trench cross-sections, and choose the appropriate cables and accessories for the project. By avoiding splitting the design work among different companies involved in wind and solar farm construction, the service allows developers to exploit the existing synergies within their projects and consequently optimize the final costs all with a unique collector system warranty.

For instance, in the case of the Stockyard Hill project, the design optimization service has allowed to take into account the detailed analysis of the soil thermal resistivity and its effect on cable temperature and has led to the redesign of the MV collector system to reduce the length and dimensions of trenches while protecting cable current ratings.

“We are delighted to bring our cutting-edge integrated solutions for underground network installation and existing network management to this ambitious project. This contract confirms the technological know-how Tesmec developed in the energy sector and renewable energy plants in particular,” commented Tesmec Chairman and CEO Ambrogio Caccia Dominioni. “This contract is the cornerstone of our partnership with Nexans that lays the foundation for our larger cooperation worldwide.”

“The Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is a perfect example of Nexans’ commitment to creating value for our customers by driving CAPEX and OPEX savings across their renewable energy projects,” said Veronique Stappers, Strategic Marketing Director for Industry & Solutions Business Group. “We are honoured to join our forces with Tesmec in order to contribute to making wind and solar farm projects more competitive while driving the enhanced performance of the assets.”

Trenching and laying of the 33 kV power cables, fiber optics and earthing cables for the first collector group of 13 turbines started in the fourth quarter 2018.

The 530 MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm promises to be the largest wind farm in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. The wind farm will have 149 turbines capable of producing enough electricity to power around 390,000 homes while also helping the state to save around two million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. Located 35 km west of Ballarat in Victoria’s central highlands, the project is expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction peaks on site and employ up to 25 permanent maintenance staff once the wind farm is complete.

References

[1]

Nexans, société anonyme. Press release - Nexans and Marais Laying Technologies Australia unite their forces for the construction of the largest onshore wind farm in Australia. URL: https://www.nexans.com/newsroom/news/details/2018/12/Nexans-and-Marais-Laying-Te.... [Date Accessed: 10/12/2018].

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