The Queensland Government has given the green light to the development of a new $350 million wind farm located on the Banana Range, approximately 120 kilometres south-west of Gladstone and 20 kilometres west of the town of Biloela.
The Banana Range Wind Farm will comprise of up to 51 turbines with a total generation capacity of 180MW and will potentially include a large-scale battery energy storage.
This new renewable energy project will help boost the State’s total capacity of wind-generated energy to 2240MW - which is enough to power more than a million homes.
“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.
“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,” Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said.
According to Minister for Energy Dr Anthony Lynham, this project will further put downward pressure on electricity prices as well as help take the State closer to its renewable energy 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 large-scale renewable capacity is currently at earlier stages of development.
“Together, these projects represent more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 4500 construction jobs in regional Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
Project location (source: Banana Range Wind Farm)
Orange Creek Energy Pty Ltd - a subsidiary of Lacour Energy - will be undertaking the development of the Banana Range Wind Farm on a site that has excellent wind resources as well as an existing high-voltage 132-kilovolt transmission line running through it, connecting the wind farm to the electricity network.
“The onsite powerline and excellent wind resource mean that the project can supply competitively priced electricity.
“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,” Lacour Energy Director James Townsend said.
Mr Townsend added that during the project’s construction phase, an estimate of $30 - 40 million will be injected into the regional economy through the employment of local service providers and contractors.
“In addition to the construction of the wind far, we are also going to provide $100,000 each year to support projects or initiatives in nearby communities through a community benefits fund,” Mr Townsend said.
Construction on the $350 million Banana Range Wind Farm is anticipated to commence in 2020 and will take up to 24 months to complete. Works on this renewable energy project will not impact the lifespan of existing generators.
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