New deal sealed for $1.5b CQ wind farm, 350 jobs
A WIND farm in Central Queensland will contribute to what Energy Minister Anthony Lynham labelled a "renewable energy revolution in our own state".
An estimated 350 people under Lacour Energy and Goldwind will begin construction on the 450-megawatt, $1.5 billion Clarke Creek wind farm mid-next year.
It will be located about 150 km north-west of Rockhampton, near Marlborough, and should have energy flowing to the grid by 2023.
Under the project's Power Purchase Agreement, 75 per cent of that energy will be sold to the publicly-owned Stanwell Corporation.
"I can tell you, this is one stomping great deal for Queensland families," Mr Lynham said.
Mr Lynham said Australia "will still be exporting coal for years to come," but that the cost of power generated by the wind farm was "nowhere near" that of a coal-fired power station.
He said he was pleased to be "addressing climate change and dropping power prices for every Queensland family".
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga called the project a "huge game-changer" and said "up to" 15 full-time jobs would be sustained once the wind farm was operational.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said Clarke Creek would bolster the Central Queensland economy, and allow greater competition in the manufacturing industry thanks to lower energy costs.
"Renewable energy is the cheapest form of generation, which means that more renewables helps put more downward pressure on electricity prices," he said.
Goldwind Australia managing director John Titchen said Clarke Creek wind farm's 450-megwatt first stage would comprise 101 turbines, "enough to power the equivalent of approximately 320,000 Queensland homes".
"Stage two will provide a further 400 megawatts," he said.
"The site has predominantly night-time wind which means the wind farm will complement Queensland's high level of solar production during the day."
Stanwell CEO Richard Van Breda said the 348 megawatts 'offtake' agreement with Clarke Creek Wind Farm would help to reduce the proportion of carbon energy in Stanwell's portfolio.
"Our large commercial and industrial customers want 'greener' products to complement other sustainability actions that they are taking," he said.
"The Clarke Creek wind farm offtake agreement will enable us to provide clean, renewable energy to our customers, and also decarbonise our portfolio."
LNP Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said that in contrast, his party's plans involved "the single largest government-owned investment in renewable energy".
"The LNP has a policy to support more renewable energy, including 2000 megawatts of hydroelectricity as part of the drought busting New Bradfield Scheme," he said.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said she supported the Clarke Creek scheme "as long as the project stacks up", but that her New Bradfield Scheme would be "Queensland's largest job-creating project" and the LNP had "already got the engineering plans to show that it can be done".
Mr Lynham said Ms Frecklington should "stump up the money for Rookwood [Weir] before you start talking about other dam projects in this state".
Clarke Creek has been approved to eventually hold a maximum of 195 wind turbines and output at least 800 megawatts.
By that time, it is supposed to power 590,000 homes.