$2bn MacIntyre Wind Precinct in QLD officially begins construction

Monica Gameng   |   June 7, 2022
Acciona wind farm (cr: Queensland Government)

The first sod has been turned and construction on the $2 billion MacIntyre Wind Precinct has formally commenced. 

The development of the wind farm precinct is spearheaded by ACCIONA and the multi-billion-dollar project is anticipated to create more than 450 jobs during the construction phase along with an additional 220 jobs supported through Powerlink’s delivery of new transmission infrastructure. 

Once operational, the MacIntyre Wind Precinct will directly employ 15 maintenance staff. 

“Australia has such an abundance of renewable resources. All across the country, projects like MacIntyre can harness and capitalise on this opportunity to realise a new golden age. 

“Large scale renewable projects lay new foundations that support larger local economies and create new employment opportunities for those living in the area,” ACCIONA Energia Managing Director Brett Wickham said. 

The 1,026MW MacIntyre Wind Precinct is comprised of two wind farms – the 103MW Karara Wind Farm that will be owned and operated by CleanCo Queensland and the 923MW MacIntyre Wind Farm to be owned and operated by ACCIONA. 

“It will inject more than $500 million into the Southern Downs and Darling Downs regional economy during construction and provide renewable, affordable power for businesses across the region well into the future,” QLD Treasurer Cameron Dick said. 

“...the zero emissions MacIntyre Wind Farm power will fuel decent, secure jobs in energy intensive industries, in particular nearby manufacturing,” Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

Minister de Brenni added that the Queensland Government is also investing over $2 billion to increase renewable energy supply and battery storage to produce cheaper, cleaner energy along with the creation of jobs across the State. 

macintyre-sod-turning-photo-7-3Sod turning for MacIntyre project (source: ACCIONA Australia)

The MacIntyre Wind Precinct is set to become part of the State’s second Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), having 162 turbines for MacIntyre Wind Farm and 18 turbines for the Karara Wind Farm. 

“With the capacity to supply equivalent of nearly 700,000 homes, this massive MacIntyre project will substantially boost renewable energy supply in Queensland helping our industries, businesses and communities to achieve their sustainability goals. 

“Today represents a major step forward for CleanCo as we celebrate the future offtake of energy from the MacIntyre project and as our Board makes its final decision on the Karara Wind Farm,” CleanCo Chair Jacqui Walters said. 

The development of the MacIntyre Precinct will help CleanCo deliver clean, reliable energy solutions across Queensland at a competitive price to help customers reach a net zero future. 

CleanCo has a standing power purchase agreement of 400MW from the MacIntyre Wind Farm, which will contribute to the 1,400MW of new renewable energy the publicly owned company will bring to the market by 2025 to support the State’s energy transformation. 

“I believe MacIntyre is the start of a golden age of renewable energy in Australia. One that takes full advantage of our renewable resources with projects that help drive and develop our regional economies. 

“It is great to be working alongside CleanCo to deliver this major project for Queensland and its residents,” Mr Wickham said. 

The project is going to be built on land used for sheep farming southwest of Warwick. During the construction and operation of the MacIntyre project, current farming practices on site will continue. 

Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Lawrence Springborg said: “It’s wonderful to see that the Goondiwindi Region is once again the region of choice for innovative, pioneering projects such as the ACCIONA MacIntyre Wind Farm, which is set to be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. 

“It’s great to see the continued growth and diversification of opportunities in our region, especially in the areas of renewable energy and emerging technologies. 

“Council welcomes the MacIntyre project to our region and looks forward to its success. We are eager to see the project support local businesses in the Goondiwindi Region through increased local spending during construction.” 

The development of the MacIntyre Wind Precinct is complemented by a new 65-kilometre transmission line delivered by Powerlink as well as two new switching stations. 

With Powerlink’s Warwick office already established, on-ground work on the new transmission line and switching stations can now ramp up. Several local contractors have also been engaged to support the project that will connect the MacIntyre Wind Precinct to the grid. 

“At more than one gigawatt, this is easily Powerlink’s largest connection project to date. 

“Importantly, it will also deliver Queensland’s second REZ development, unlocking an additional 1,500 MW of hosting capacity in the region and supporting 220 jobs during construction. 

“We’re extremely proud of the positive benefits this project will bring to the region in economic growth, opportunities and investment for the longer term,” Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said. 

The entire MacIntyre Wind Precinct is set to be operational in 2024. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; ACCIONA Australia (1, 2); ABC News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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