14 May 2012
Verve Energy's Grasmere Wind Farm is now complete. As part of this project, the Bibbulmun Track has been realigned and the Hidden Valley campsite has been removed.
Two new campsites, Sandpatch and Muttonbird, have been built to accommodate the realignment.
A new Denmark/Albany Map 8 is being printed and will be available by the end of June 2012.
For more information visit the Track Conditions in the Denmark/Albany section by section guide.
Approximately 3km of Track immediately to the west of the old Hidden Valley Campsite has recently been constructed due to the expansion of the wind farm. Walkers are asked to bear in mind that it whilst the new section of Track is open, there still remains work to be done and walkers should take care.
The Grasmere Wind Farm
The six-turbine Grasmere wind farm has been installed at the western end of the highly successful Albany wind farm. Though they have different names, the wind farms will merge.
The new wind turbines are of a similar size to those installed at the Albany Wind Farm but at 2.3MW, each will generate 30% more power.
Extensive consultation has taken place between Verve Energy, DEC and the Foundation to assess the impact of the extension on walkers and to devise a solution to minimise the visual and auditory effects. As a result, Hidden Valley campsite has been closed and two new campsites east and west of the wind farm have been constructed. This has resulted in three shorter days of approximately 13km each out of Albany, as opposed to the existing 19.5km to Hidden Valley and 17km to Torbay campsite. This is an excellent outcome for walkers.
The 14MW Grasmere Wind Farm will produce around 44GWh of electricity each year and, together with Albany Wind Farm, will meet 80% of Albany’s electricity needs with clean, inexhaustible renewable energy.
Grasmere will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 43,500 tonnes per year from electricity production, equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road.
The new turbines have been placed on the coast using the same pattern and spacing as the existing wind farm and will be built to the same high environmental and social standards. The new wind farm will need a new underground power line connection for the entire 14km back to the Albany sub-station, so no overhead wires will be required.
For more information about the project click here.