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“The Windcatcher”

  One day in September 2022, a bus drove into the site of the Cow Mountain Wind Power Project in Tasmania, Australia, with 32 high school girls and 4 teachers on board. The operation and maintenance manager Simon Williams, who was wearing the overalls of “China Power Construction” (abbreviation of China Power Construction Group), went forward to welcome the visiting teachers and students to visit the facilities such as the booster station and the fan stand. When the engineer introduced that the Muniu Mountain project specially installed the IDF eagle protection system to protect endangered eagles, the teachers and students gave out admiration.
  Seeing this scene, Williams smiled. This is a campaign launched by the Tasmanian Government to encourage high school students to pursue future renewable energy jobs. As residents of Tasmania, teachers and students have long enjoyed the clean energy provided by the Muniu Mountain project, and now they have a more intuitive impression of this project that “changed the state’s fortunes”. One month later, Bothwell Town, where the project is located, held the 200th anniversary celebration of the town. Williams and his colleagues carefully prepared exhibition boards and popular science content, and were invited to participate in the celebration.
  As a “wind catcher” who “turns wind into electricity”, Williams is very pleased with the local support for wind power projects. He told the “Global People” reporter that he is often invited to give lectures in local schools, introducing wind power technology and the importance of green energy to students. It can be clearly felt that many residents welcome the project very much. Some local small shops and restaurants that were on the verge of closure have been revived due to the popularity brought by the project.
  At the end of 2019, the first unit of the Muniushan project was connected to the grid for power generation. At the time, Williams was working for other wind power companies. He grew up on a farm in Perth, a city in Western Australia. He followed his parents to do farm work since he was a child. He has strong hands-on skills and loves nature. After graduating from school, he became a wind power expert. He said that he chose this career out of his love for mechanical engineering, and also because he believes that new energy sources such as wind power are the “key” to realize the harmonious coexistence between man and nature. After learning about the construction of the Muniu Mountain project, he was deeply attracted by this advanced project. Soon, he joined the company and became the project operation and maintenance manager.
  ”Catching the wind” is very hard work. He got up before dawn every day, bid farewell to his sleeping wife and daughter, and drove to the power station more than 130 kilometers away from home. There, he was responsible for the operation and maintenance of wind turbines, optimizing the performance of the turbines. In the past few years of his work, the wind power station has overcome severe challenges such as extreme weather, forest fires, and the new crown pneumonia epidemic, and has operated smoothly. As of August 14 this year, it has achieved continuous, safe and stable operation for 1,000 days, and its power generation has exceeded 1 billion kWh. . Australia’s “New Energy Economy” stated in an article introducing Australia’s wind power generation situation published on its official website that the Muniu Mountain project’s power generation in June ranked first in Tasmania’s wind power projects.

In October 2020, Williams and his colleagues participated in the “Great Lake Community Open Event” on behalf of Power Construction.

Huge wind turbines at the site of the Muniu Mountain Wind Power Project.

In February 2021, Williams took a group photo with his Chinese colleagues in the Muniushan Wind Power Project.

  This is the second time that this authoritative media in the energy industry in Australia and New Zealand has focused on the Muniu Mountain project. Last year, “New Energy Economy” published an article introducing the IDF eagle protection system here. More than 40% of Tasmania’s 90,000 square kilometers of land are located in nature reserves. There are thousands of rare wild animals and plants on the island, which is called an “eco-museum”. Protecting endangered species such as the wedge-tailed eagle is a “must-answer question” for the Muniu Mountain project.
  Williams said: “Our animal protection standards exceed Australian national standards. We are the first to introduce 16 sets of advanced IDF eagle protection systems, which can complete image capture, identification, early warning and other actions in seconds.” Last spring , he received a joint investigation team from the Australian Department of the Environment and the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Agency. When everyone came near IDF No. 13, they saw a black dot in the air approaching the fan area. The 360-degree high-resolution camera on the top of the IDF tower responded immediately, locked on the target, recognized it as a wedge-tailed eagle, and issued a shutdown command to the relevant wind turbines according to its flight trajectory. The rotation of the fan impeller slowed down, and the wedge-tailed eagle passed safely. Australian Department of Environment official Pei Zhi said that the Muniu Mountain wind power project “has made a huge contribution to the protection of wild animals and the maintenance of Tasmania’s ecological balance, and set an example for the Australian wind power industry.”
  Williams said that this system not only prevents accidents, but also captures and collects a large number of wedge-tailed eagle images and flight trajectory data, providing rich information for related conservation research. The system has won awards such as the “Renewable Energy Innovation Award” issued by the Australian Clean Energy Agency. In order to minimize the impact of the wind power plant on wild animals, the staff often inspect the operating area of ​​the wind power plant, “please” away the “visiting” koalas, Tasmanian devils and other animals, and even help them find a safe “new home” “.
  When interviewed by the “Global People” reporter, Williams praised his Chinese colleagues. He said: “I admire the team spirit and dedication of the Chinese employees.” He often invites colleagues to come to his home to share Australian-style barbecue dinners. Chinese colleagues often treat him to a feast in the dormitory. He said that when he ate Sichuan hot pot for the first time, he was sweating profusely, but he couldn’t stop talking. Since then, hot pot has become his favorite Chinese delicacy, and his colleagues joked that he has an “authentic Chinese stomach”.
  In the eyes of colleagues, Williams is bold, down-to-earth, and caring for his family. He is a typical “Australian good dad”. When he first joined the job, he traveled more than 4,000 kilometers every weekend to return home to Perth. Later, he simply moved his family from Perth in the west to Tasmania in the southeast. In order to allow his daughter Nova to receive a better education, he settled his home in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. While it means he has to commute at least 4 hours a day, he thinks it’s worth it.
  Early last year, Williams began self-studying Chinese and plans to pass the Chinese proficiency test by the end of this year. Williams said: “After the epidemic is over, I want to take my family to China for a tour, taste authentic Chinese food, and let the children experience the authentic Chinese culture. I plan to visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, and visit Many colleagues who have returned to work in China will meet.” On
  May 31, 2022, Williams was awarded the title of “Silk Road Friendship Envoy” in recognition of his contribution to China-Australia renewable energy cooperation. He said that the Muniu Mountain Wind Power Station is the best gift he left for his daughter. He hopes that by promoting the application of new energy technology, his daughter and future generations can live in a beautiful and pollution-free world.
  Simon Williams
  was born in 1987 and graduated from the Institute of Technical and Further Education of Western Australia in 2008. He has worked in wind power companies such as Siemens and Vestas Wind Systems. Joined China Power Construction Group in 2019 as the operation and maintenance manager of Muniushan Wind Power Project.

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