Australian state government green lights $1 billion wind farm

The state of Queensland in Australia has given the go ahead to a major new onshore wind farm.

The project, called Clarke Creek, will have a capacity of 800 megawatts and comprise of up to 200 turbines. Once complete it will be the largest onshore wind farm in Australia.

The estimated A$1 billion ($760 million) clean energy plant will be located 150 kilometres from Rockhampton in north-east of the country.

Minister for State Development, Cameron Dick, said the project would create 350 jobs during the 36-month construction phase: “In addition to building the turbines, associated infrastructure will include substations, temporary workers’ accommodation, staff and operational facilities and powerlines.”

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the development formed part of the state’s continued investment in renewable energy. A pipeline of energy projects totalling $20 billion is already underway, one quarter of which has financial backing.

“Queensland is focused on reaching its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, with more than 20 projects currently either underway or financially committed, creating more than 3500 construction jobs across the state.

“The Queensland Government looks forward to bringing more job-creating, economy-boosting projects to central Queensland.” 

The state covers a vast area of land roughly equivalent to Mexico in size.

Developers Lacour Energy, which was only founded in 2016, will now be tasked with building out the most significant onshore wind farm in Australia.

“The wind farm development approval is a significant milestone for the project”, said Director Mark Rayner. “It is a unique renewable energy project which combines excellent wind and solar resources at a location directly adjacent to the backbone of the Powerlink 275 kV transmission network.”

“We look forward to completing the feasibility study by the end of the year so that construction can begin early next year,” he added.

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