An agreement to create Australia’s largest wind farm has been approved, with the 1GW farm to be installed near Warwick in Queensland.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the state’s publicly-owned transmission company Powerlink has signed an agreement to connect the MacIntyre Wind Precinct to the grid.
“Queensland has long been Australia’s energy powerhouse and this $170 million agreement ensures that will continue to be the case,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The site has been selected because of its consistent winds, especially in the evening, and its proximity to existing transmission lines.
“It’s projects like this that will ensure we can deliver on our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.”
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said Queensland’s publicly-owned energy companies made it possible to get the project underway faster.
“This project will bring more affordable renewable power to Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“The MacIntyre Wind Precinct will consist of two wind farms.
“The 102MW Karara Wind Farm will be built, owned and operated by our renewable generator, CleanCo.
“And CleanCo has signed a power offtake agreement for Acciona’s neighbouring 923MW MacIntyre Wind Farm.
“This agreement with Powerlink unlocks $2 billion of investment in Queensland, 400 construction jobs on the wind farms, and another 220 jobs building Powerlink’s transmission lines.”
A good position for Queensland’s REZ
Queensland Minister for Energy, Mick de Brenni, said the MacIntyre Wind Precinct would anchor Queensland’s Southern Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
“This further reinforces our position as the nation’s renewable energy superpower with this REZ unlocking up to 1,500MW of hosting capacity,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The precinct is well positioned in an area of high and consistent wind resource, with a total of 180 turbines to be built across both wind farms.
“When complete, it will provide enough power to meet the energy needs of 700,000 homes.”
Partnerships key to success
Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said finalising the agreement with Acciona Energía and CleanCo to connect the massive project to the existing transmission network near Millmerran was an enormous feat.
“At more than 1,000MW, this is the first time we’ve connected a project of this scale to our network here in Queensland,” Mr Simshauser said.
“We will be constructing 65km of brand new transmission line and building two new switching stations, so our priority will be on working closely with local communities to ensure they see long-term benefits from this connection work.”
Acciona Energía Managing Director, Brett Wickham, said approval of the transmission lines was a major step forward in bringing the project to life.
“We’re really proud the project is getting underway and the jobs and investment this will bring to the region,” Mr Wickham said.
CleanCo Chair, Jacqui Walters, said that the agreement is an important milestone for CleanCo as it grows its portfolio of built, owned and operated projects.
CleanCo Interim CEO, Darryl Rowell, said that progressing Karara and MacIntyre Wind Farms further enables CleanCo to supply businesses in Queensland with clean and reliable energy.
“CleanCo is really excited to be building the Karara Wind Farm and supporting our customers to meet their own decarbonisation objectives,” Mr Rowell said.
Construction on the MacIntyre Wind Precinct will start mid-2022.