In the ‘How to get a start at …….’ series we are going to be running over Australian Mining and Construction projects all over the country. In each post we will include an Overview of the project, a Location Profile, the Companies involved, the Occupations required, the skills / qualifications that will help you to get your foot in the door and the Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. This will help you to stay in the loop and know how to skill up where needed. The aim is to help you get yourself into the best position to land a start on the major sites and projects around Australia.
About the Mt Mercer Wind Farm Project
From the Dereel Website
Meridian Energy Australia will commence construction of the Mt Mercer wind farm in December this year and will take about two years to complete. Meridian Australia’s Project Director, Wes Ferguson said the wind farm, with 64 turbines, will provide sufficient renewable energy to meet the electricity needs of the entire population of Ballarat and will have a capital cost of around AUD $260 million. “The project will employ around 200 people during construction and upon completion it will provide about 20 permanent jobs in the local region. There will also be other external jobs in the local community for the supply chain, such as ongoing maintenance,” Mr Ferguson said.
“During construction, Meridian will continue to engage the local community to ensure that the benefits of the wind farm are maximised and any impacts minimised.” The 131MW Mt Mercer wind farm occupies seven conjoint landholdings (2,460 hectares). This land will continue to be used for cropping, sheep, cattle and pig farming.
Meridian Energy Australia – a wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Energy Limited – bought the consents for Mt Mercer in April 2009 and will be Meridian’s third wind farm in Australia.
The wind farm will be connected to the Victorian Electricity Grid by a new powerline and green field terminal station near the town of Elaine. This connection will be built, owned and operated by Transmission Operations (Australia), which has the same majority owners as distribution companies Powercor/Citipower.
Mr Furguson says the competitive National Electricity Market, combined with the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (requiring approximately one fifth of electricity generation to be from renewable sources by 2020), is enabling renewable energy to be delivered for all Australians on a low cost and efficient basis.
“Our job is to deliver efficient sources of renewable energy to the market and assist electricity retailers to meet the MRET liabilities, improve choice and price for Australian electricity consumers,” Mr Ferguson said.
“We’re excited to be proceeding with Mt Mercer with the support of our partners – REpower Systems SE, Downer EDI and Transmissions Operations (Australia).”
Meridian Australia Chief Executive Ben Burge says that “with a capital cost of around AUD $260 million, the Mt Mercer project increases Meridian’s existing presence in Australia and further leverages Meridian’s proven experience in designing and managing the construction of new wind farms in some of the toughest terrains on the planet.”
Key facts about Mt Mercer
- 64 turbine, 131MW wind farm, located 30km south of Ballarat, Victoria.
- Occupies seven conjoint landholdings (2,460 hectares). The land will continue to be used for cropping, sheep, cattle and pig farming.
- Grid connection will be via 23km of new, 132KV powerline and a new Terminal Station near the town of Elaine.
- Meridian Australia bought the consents for Mt Mercer in April 2009.
- Construction projected to start in December 2012.
- Completion scheduled for December 2014.
- The project will provide sufficient renewable energy to meet the electricity needs of the entire population of Ballarat (almost 100,000).
- Construction partners will be: REpower Systems SE for wind turbines; Downer EDI for civil works; and Transmission Operations (Australia) for grid connection.
- Mt Mercer will be Meridian’s third wind farm in Australia.
From the Downer Group Website
Downer EDI Limited (Downer) today announced it had been awarded a $70 million contract by Meridian Energy Australia for engineering work on the Mt Mercer Wind Farm in Victoria.
The wind farm, located 30 kilometres south of Ballarat, will consist of 64 turbines with 131MW capacity.
Downer will conduct balance of plant work which includes the design and construction of the electrical and civil works including the wind farm sub-station, 33kV collector system, internal road network, crane hardstands and wind turbine foundations.
The wind farm will provide enough energy to service the electricity needs of the entire Ballarat community.
Location Profile – Ballarat & Central Highlands
Sovereign Hill, Yarrowee River, Pyrenees, Lake Learmonth, Battle of Eureka Stockade, Creswick, Daylesford, Clunes, Talbot, 19th Century Goldrush, Golden Plains, Tourism, Agriculture, Mining, Cycling, Nightlife, History & Heritage, Hiking, Camping, Markets, Wineries, Art Gallery, Museums, Go Karting, Turf Club, Golf, Cinemas
Population 146,235 (Ballarat SA4 2011 ABS)
Ballarat Greater Region – Rents as at Aug 2012
2 Bed 1 Bath – $145 – $320
3 Bed 1 Bath – $180 – $ 350
4 Bed 2 Bath – $ 280 – $ 500
Ballarat Greater Region – House Prices as at Aug 2012
2 Bed 1 Bath – $140,000 – $370,000
3 Bed 1 Bath – $155,000– $560,000
4 Bed 2 Bath – $245,000 – $1.650,000
|Climate data for Ballarat Airport|
|Record high °C||42.0||44.1||37.7||31.5||26.1||21.6||19.1||23.0||27.9||33.4||37.3||40.6||44.1|
|Average high °C||25.1||25.0||22.2||17.6||13.6||10.8||10.0||11.4||13.8||16.6||19.6||22.5||17.3|
|Average low °C||10.9||11.5||9.9||7.4||5.7||4.0||3.2||3.7||4.8||6.2||7.8||9.4||7.0|
|Record low °C||0.7||-1.4||-0.6||-4.1||-4.5||-4.6||-6.0||-5.0||-4.5||-3.6||-1.0||-1.0||-6.0|
|Avg. Rainfall mm||39.6||43.9||42.9||51.5||64.7||62.9||66.4||75.1||71.9||67.4||56.6||51.1||694.2|
Companies Involved with the Mt Mercer Wind Farm Project
Downer – Design and construction of the electrical and civil works including the wind farm sub-station, 33kV collector system, internal road network, crane hardstands and wind turbine foundations.
REpower Systems SE – Erect and commission wind turbine systems.
Transmissions Operations (Australia) – Installing new powerline and green field terminal station near the town of Elaine. This connection will be built, owned and operated by Transmission Operations (Australia).
Occupations Required at the Mt Mercer Wind Farm Project
- Civil Construction Workers
- Steel Fixers, Formworkers & Concretors
- Plant Operators
- Electrical Workers
- Mechanical Workers
- Crane Operators/Workers/Rigging/Dogging
Qualifications to help you get a foot in at the Mt Mercer Wind Farm Project
- Relevant Trade Qualifications and / or VIC Licences
- Occupational Health and Safety – Construction Induction (White Card)
- Australian Drivers Licences
- High Risk Work Licence for any required plant
- Safely Working at Heights
- Ability to pass Medical including Drug and Alcohol screening
- Dogging/Rigging Tickets
- First Aid Certificate
Interstate Licence Recognition
A helpful tool to finding out whether your trade qualification needs mutual recognition when working interstate.
Check out the Cribhut Daily post – Thinking about Working Interstate – Licence Recognition
Mt Mercer Wind Farm Project Union Greenfields Enterprise Bargaining Agreements
An Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) is a collective industrial agreement between either an employer and a trade union acting on behalf of employees or an employer and employees acting for themselves.
At this stage of the project no EBA’s can be found. As we find the EBA’s them will be updated into this article.
Disclaimer: Cribhut provides this information with the best intentions, but purely as a guide. Like most things in life, there are no guarantees. Your lively hood is your own responsibility and even if following the above recommendations, it is still up to you to do your own research, to be patient, persistent and put in the hard work.
Photo Credit (daily sunny)