AGL Energy hosts emergency services exercise to teach best practice from 80 metres in the air

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and Vestas Australian Wind Technology today hosted a training simulation with 60 personnel representing regional emergency services organisations and the wind energy industry at the Macarthur Wind Farm in southwest Victoria.

Instigated by Hamilton Police Station, the exercise was undertaken to ensure harmonised rescue processes and established protocols are reinforced across the emergency services industry.

The exercise included an emergency rescue simulation from an 80-metre high wind turbine and also helped increase knowledge about the operation of wind turbines and the capabilities available on site.

Attendance was widespread including representatives from Victoria Police, the Country Fire Authority, Ambulance Victoria and the State Emergency Services, as well as developers, manufacturers and contractors including Infigen Energy, Pacific Hydro, Hydro Tasmania, Meridian Energy, REpower, Gold Wind and Downer Electrical.

Senior Sergeant Nick Finnegan from Hamilton Police Station says that it is a credit to AGL Energy to get all the wind farm operators from southern Victoria together.

“The exercise served as an opportunity as emergency responders to identify any hazards, review our capacity to respond, and be aware of what the wind farm operators have on hand to assist in any incident that may occur at a wind farm,” said Sergeant Finnegan.

AGL Energy’s Victorian Wind Operations Manager, Brendan Ryan, saw the event as a great opportunity to inform external emergency groups about a renewable energy source which has become an established part of the western district landscape.

“This exercise will assist the wind energy industry to find common ground and establish protocols for rapid response to emergency situations,” said Brendan.

The Macarthur Wind Farm is the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The first wind turbine was commissioned on 1 October 2012.  The remaining turbines were progressively commissioned and the wind farm was officially opened on 12 April 2013.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.