Neoen has given wind turbine manufacturer and principal contractor Vestas notice to proceed, signaling the start of construction of its Kaban Green Power Hub in Far North Queensland. 

Kaban Green Power Hub is a $373 million investment designed to generate clean affordable energy and to strengthen the electricity network in Far North Queensland. 

The project consists of a 157MW wind farm located near the town of Ravenshoe in the Atherton Tablelands and a 320km transmission line upgrade from 132kV to 275kV of the North Queensland coastal circuit.

The Queensland Government is committing $40 million towards the network upgrade which will support Kaban and establish the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). 

Neoen and Powerlink are partnering to upgrade the line between Cairns and Townsville which will substantially improve the network’s system strength, increasing the energy available to be dispatched from other plants in the region and unlocking up to 180MW of additional capacity for future projects.

The project is underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement with CleanCo, Queensland’s publicly owned clean energy company. 

It will deliver competitively priced electricity, contributing towards Queensland’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and creating new investment and over 250 construction jobs in Far North Queensland.

The project’s excellent wind resource will generate 457GWh of affordable clean energy each year, enough to power some 100,000 Queensland homes, more than enough for every home in Cairns. 

Kaban’s wind generation profile is complementary to the wind generated in the southern regions of the National Electricity Market, contributing to stronger supply during peak periods.

In line with Neoen’s ‘develop to own’ business model, the company will be the long-term owner and operator of the project and is committed to sharing benefits with the surrounding community. 

An annual Community Benefit Fund will be established to provide opportunities for local community-building initiatives. 

Neoen is also working closely with the Jirrbal people, Traditional Owners of the land on which the project is located, to deliver a range of employment and community development outcomes.

The Kaban wind project takes Neoen’s portfolio past the 2GW milestone of assets operating or under construction in Australia. 

Purvin Patel, President of Vestas Asia Pacific, said, “Vestas is proud that our partnership with Neoen has been extended to Australia through the Kaban Green Power Hub. 

“We are pleased that Neoen has chosen our leading technology, market experience and broad service solutions to help them achieve the best return on investment for their project.”

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to be collaborating on this second project with CleanCo Queensland and I would like to thank them for once again putting their trust in us. 

“As one of the world’s leading and fastest-growing independent renewable energy producers, we are committed to delivering affordable, reliable and clean energy to our counterparties.”

The project is expected to start operating in 2023.

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