1.4 million Queensland homes will be powered by renewable energy, thanks to a $2 billion expansion of the MacIntyre Wind Precinct, which will grow the sites’ renewable energy production to 2,000MW.
The new 1,000MW Herries Range Wind Farm will be built by ACCIONA Energia within the MacIntyre Wind Precinct, west of Warwick, marking it as one of the largest onshore wind projects in the world. The project will bring the precinct value to $4 billion, and the total amount of renewable energy to 2,000 MW – enough to power 1.4 million Queensland homes.
The MacIntyre Wind Precinct will now consist of three sites generating a combined total of over 2,000MW of renewable energy.
The Precinct consists of:
- Karara Wind Farm
- 18 turbines – 102.6MW
- MacIntyre Wind Farm
- 162 turbines – 923MW
- Herries Range Wind Farm
- 180 turbines – 1,026MW
The expanded precinct will dwarf all other operating wind farms in Australia:
- Queensland’s Coopers Gap Wind Farm
- New South Wales’ Sapphire Wind Farm
- Victoria’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm
- South Australia’s Snowtown Wind Farm
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the deal showed that Queensland was a front runner in attracting international investment in the global energy transformation.
“Our Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is all about bringing more cheaper, cleaner energy into the system, while building the Queensland economy and that’s exactly what this deal does,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“ACCIONA Energia is one of the world’s leading developers of renewable energy projects and this additional $2 billion commitment is a strong endorsement that Queensland is a renewable energy superpower.
“This deal also demonstrates that our bold vision to deliver an energy system that is made up of 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032, has boosted investor interest.
“While industry partnerships like this will be critical to bring more cleaner, cheaper energy into the system, we will importantly still maintain majority public ownership of the Queensland energy system, meaning we will control our energy transformation.”
Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said the 180-turbine Herries Range project would support up to 600 additional jobs during construction.
“The first two wind farms within the MacIntyre Wind Precinct – ACCIONA Energia’s 162-turbine MacIntyre Wind Farm and publicly owned CleanCo’s proposed 18-turbine Karara Wind Farm – were already expected to support 400 construction jobs,” Mr Miles said.
“That’s always been in addition to the 220 workers needed to build Powerlink’s transmission infrastructure that, as part of our new SuperGrid, will deliver the clean energy from MacIntyre Wind Precinct where and when it’s needed.”
Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick, said the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan would supercharge and underpin the state’s strong economic performance for generations to come.
“Make no mistake: Queensland is perfectly positioned to capture and maximise the benefits of what truly is the biggest opportunity since the industrial revolution,” Mr Dick said.
“With over 50 large-scale renewable energy projects now financially committed, under construction or operational across the state, it’s clear we have the policy settings right for a prosperous future powered by Queensland-made renewable electricity.”
Queensland Energy Minister, Mick de Brenni, said the expanded MacIntyre Wind Precinct would mean thousands of Queenslanders engaged in another significant step for the nation as it strives to shield households and business from exposure to volatile and expensive global fossil fuel markets.
“This precinct will support ongoing local jobs and local supply chain opportunities with hundreds of millions of dollars in procurement from businesses based in and around towns like Warwick, Inglewood and Toowoomba,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Importantly, it also means another big step towards energy independence, edging closer and closer to a point where our exposure to global fossil fuel markets and their inflationary impact on energy prices will be over.”
The precinct will be part of the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.
ACCIONA Energia managing director, Brett Wickham, said the Herries Range Wind Farm would be the company’s third clean energy project in Queensland, with the 600MWp Aldoga solar farm also under development near Gladstone.
“Expanding the MacIntyre Precinct has been a natural decision for us,” Mr Wickham said.
“The precinct is widely supported by farmers, residents and the community.
“Queensland’s renewable energy policies have given us the long-term confidence to keep investing in the sunshine state.
“Our plan is to roll from construction of MacIntyre straight into Herries Range which will mean that workers can move from one large-scale project to the next whilst staying in the same area.
“We’re looking forward to sharing more details with the community and potential suppliers as the project progresses.”
Feature image: ACCIONA blades for MacIntyre Wind Farm. Image: ACCIONA Energia.