Initial works for the North Queensland Super Hub (NQSH) – one of the state’s largest renewable energy undertakings – will deliver 1800MW in renewable energy following a partnership between Fortescue Future Industries and Windlab.
Detailed planning is now underway for the North Queensland Super Hub, with the first stage to include the 800MW Prairie Wind Farm and the 1000MW Wongalee project.
The Prairie Wind Farm alone will support up to 240 jobs during construction, and ten to 15 permanent, full-time jobs during operation. Construction is expected to commence on the first stage by 2025, with the projects producing renewable power by 2027.
Fortescue Future Industries CEO, Mark Hutchinson, said the opportunity to develop the North Queensland Super Hub was a game-changer for Queensland.
“Australia’s natural resources, including its wind, sun and landmass, are unrivalled in terms of their potential for the production of green energy – green hydrogen in particular – and that is no truer than in the sunshine state,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“This is about ensuring Queensland and Australia are in the best possible position to play a leading role in the production and supply of green hydrogen globally.
“For the first time, the North Queensland Super Hub will provide the quantity of green energy we need to support large-scale green hydrogen production right here in Queensland.
“The environmental and economic opportunities that stem from this are significant, both in terms of lowering emissions and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and in terms of local job creation.”
Windlab CEO, John Martin, said the company had spent a decade learning about the region’s renewable resources, while building relationships with local stakeholders and the community.
“Windlab’s experience and track record on the ground demonstrates our commitment to meaningful partnerships with local landowners and communities, and a clear focus on delivering the best performing assets while managing any potential impacts in a way that meets stakeholder expectations,” Mr Martin said.
“The North Queensland Super Hub presents a high-yield, complementary wind and solar resource in a region ideally suited for multiple offtake opportunities, while being compatible with the existing land use.
“This facility marks a big step towards realising our strategic, scalable development plan that leverages the region’s untapped renewable energy base to transform Australia’s electricity market and drive the nation’s clean energy transition.”
Speaking at the Bohle Industrial Estate in Townsville, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said her government was proud to partner with the two companies in delivering the renewable project.
“The North Queensland Super Hub is an outstanding investment in Queensland’s energy future, from two companies with a longstanding presence in our state and a unique understanding of our natural resources and potential,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Our government is partnering with Fortescue Future Industries to deliver the Green Energy Manufacturing Centre in Gladstone – an electrolyser factory which is set to have the largest capacity in the world when it comes online.
“And people would know Windlab as one of the developers behind the Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden – a hybrid wind, solar and storage project.
“The new Super Hub will also bring together wind and solar projects, estimated to generate more than 10GW of renewable energy.
“This clean energy can be fed into the electricity grid and will support the large-scale production of green hydrogen – a fuel of the future, produced by green energy.
“With our natural resources and catalytic projects like the North Queensland Super Hub, our state is in the hot seat to supply green hydrogen to the world.”