Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Queensland wind farm precinct to dwarf all others: Palaszczuk, Miles, Dick, Brenni

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The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, The Hon. Steven Miles, Deputy Premier (Qld), The Hon. Cameron Dick, Treasurer (Qld), The Hon. Mick de Brenni, Minister for Energy (Qld), Joint Media Release, 28 November 2022

Queensland will be home to one of the largest onshore wind projects in the world, after global energy giant ACCIONA Energia, announced the development of a new $2 billion wind project.

The new 1,000MW Herries Range Wind Farm will be built within the MacIntyre Wind Precinct, west of Warwick, bringing 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.

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 that this deal does,” the Premier said.

“ACCIONA Energia are 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.

“The $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan will unlock even more investment, more economic growth for Queensland, and more good jobs.

“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.

“And 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.”

The MacIntyre Wind Precinct, located in the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, will now include ACCIONA Energia’s MacIntrye and Herries Range wind farms, and government-owned energy company CleanCo’s proposed Karara Wind Farm.

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,” he said.

“And 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.”

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,” he said.

“And 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.”

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,” he 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,” he said.

“The precinct is widely supported by farmers, residents and the community.

“And, of course, 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 to 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.”

The MacIntyre Wind Precinct will now consist of three sites generating a combined total of over 2,000MW of renewable energy – enough power for 1.4 million households.

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:

  • Coopers Gap Wind Farm– (QLD) – 453MW
  • Sapphire Wind Farm – (NSW) – 270MW
  • Stockyard Hill Wind Farm – (VIC) – 511MW
  • Snowtown Wind Farm (SA) – 370MW

For more information on the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, visit https://www.epw.qld.gov.au/energyandjobsplan

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