The Queensland government says its energy corporation Stanwell, a major provider of electricity, plans to build Australia’s largest state-owned wind farm in the South Burnett region.
- The government says the wind farm will power up to 230,000 homes
- The premier is expected to make another major energy announcement in Wednesday’s State of the State address
- Queensland has committed to achieving 50 percent renewable energy by 2030
The proposal would see the Tarong West Wind Farm built at Ironpot, 30 kilometers south-west of Kingaroy.
The government has announced a $776 million injection of funds for the project, which will be drawn from the state’s $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund.
“This project with up to 150 turbines could generate 500MW capacity, enough clean electricity to power up to 230,000 homes,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“It’s investments like this that will ensure we deliver on our net-zero ambitions and our promise to Queenslanders to become a global renewable energy superpower,” she said.
The government has committed to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and zero net emissions by 2050.
Currently more than 20 percent of the state’s electricity is produced from renewable energy sources — including rooftop solar and solar and wind farms.
It is expected the project will involve around 200 construction jobs and 15 ongoing jobs when it becomes operational.
The Premier will visit the website today, in the state’s Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, ahead of a major announcement on energy and climate change on Wednesday.
The final decision on the wind farm proposal is expected in 2024.
If approved, construction would begin the same year with the wind farm to become operational from 2026.
Project ‘supports decarbonisation’ of Stanwell’s portfolio
Ms Palaszczuk said there were 50 renewable energy projects operating or committed across Queensland.
“That’s billions of dollars already invested in setting us up to capitalize on the jobs, industries, and exports of the future,” she said.
“We are now focused on what the next decade will look like, and I’ll have a lot more to say on this in this week’s CEDA State of the State address.”
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the project would boost Stanwell’s asset portfolio, and was expected to provide substantial commercial value — giving it dispatch control of significant renewable generation capacity.
Stanwell sells wholesale electricity into the National Energy Market and also sells electricity to large commercial and industrial clients through its retail business, Stanwell Energy.
It owns and operates the coal-fired Stanwell Power Station near Rockhampton and the Tarong power stations in southern Queensland.
Stanwell’s chief executive Michael O’Rourke said it would be a significant milestone for the publicly-owned corporation.
“The Tarong West Wind Farm project supports decarbonisation of our existing portfolio and will help us to meet our customers’ demand for renewable energy products,” he said.
“It will also provide future career development opportunities for our people.”
The Queensland government has designated three renewable energy zones for development, in areas the Australian Energy Market Operator has identified as having high-quality wind and solar resources.