A new $350 million has been given the green light by the Queensland Government, creating up to 150 construction jobs in the Banana Range.
The wind farm will have 50 turbines and produce most of its power overnight from its site which is known for its strong night winds.
It will boost the total capacity of wind generation approved by the Queensland Government to 2240 megawatts, enough to power one million homes.
Queensland Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the State Government supports the investment into the Banana Range Wind Farm.
“With up to 150 construction jobs and up to 15 ongoing jobs, the Banana Range Wind Farm will not only generate electricity for homes and businesses but will be an economic energy source for the surrounding region.
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“Besides the great environmental benefits for Queensland, investment in projects such as this also creates a flow-on economic effect for local businesses and assists in diversifying the town’s economy.
“The Banana Range wind farm will generate around 180 megawatts at capacity, which will power around 120,000 homes, around five times the number of houses in Gladstone.
Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the project added to the state’s numerous renewable projects, placing further downward pressure on electricity prices and taking Queensland closer to its renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030.
“Queensland has more than 2370 megawatts of large‑scale renewable energy capacity operating already and another 250 committed or under construction. Around 18,000 megawatts more of large-scale renewable capacity is currently at earlier stages of development,” Lynham said.
“Together, these projects represent more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 4500 constructions jobs in regional Queensland.”
Lacour Energy director James Townsend said the wind farm is in an area of excellent wind resources with an existing high voltage 132-kilovolt transmission line running through the project site, which will connect the wind farm to the power network.
“The onsite powerline and excellent wind resource mean that the project can supply competitively priced electricity,” Townsend said.
“The area is known for its strong nighttime winds which is when the wind farm will produce the most energy, and this means the project is very complementary to the daytime energy from rooftop solar and the solar farms that have recently been built in Queensland.
“We estimate there will be an injection of $30-40 million into the regional economy during the construction through the employment of local contractors and service providers.
Construction will begin in 2020 and is expected to take around 24 months to complete. The delivery of the Banana Range wind farm will not impact on the lifespan of existing generators.
The project is being undertaken by Orange Creek Energy Pty Ltd, a subsidiary renewable energy company of Lacour Energy based in Brisbane.