Massive $2bn wind farm approved for development in QLD

Monica Gameng   |   February 23, 2020

A massive renewable energy project is set to rise in Queensland’s Wide Bay-Burnett region as the State Government grants development approval to a $2 billion wind farm - one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere to be connected to the grid.

Forest Wind will comprise of up to 226 wind turbines and the proposed project’s construction will create approximately 440 jobs as well as 50 full time operational jobs.

Once operational, the wind farm will be able to generate enough clean energy to power all homes across the combined regions of Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

“This is a major clean energy project for Queensland and will contribute to our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030.

“Forest Wind has the potential to generate up to 1,200 megawatts of electricity at capacity, which is enough to supply one in four Queensland homes,” Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said.

This renewable energy project is going to be built within state forest land - what is known as Australia’s biggest exotic pine plantation - located between Gympie and Maryborough.

According to Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, this project will join the State’s existing 5,500MW of renewable energy capacity.

“More generation helps put downward pressure on power prices, and give Queenslanders the lowest electricity prices on the eastern seaboard,” Dr Lynham said.

DWG087_V3.3_Project+Area+-+A3+-+450+dpiProject map (source: Forest Wind)

The project site has been carefully chosen to take advantage of the location’s large working environment.

“We have established a three-kilometre separation distance from residents to wind turbines to ensure industry, the local community and the environment can coexist harmoniously.

“We have been undertaking consultation with the local community and stakeholders and we are looking forward to continuing that engagement through the next phase of the project’s development, including with the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi first nation peoples,” Forest Wind Holding Chairman James Pennay said.

The grant of development approval to Forest Wind marks a major milestone for the massive renewable energy project and it brings good news for jobs in the region.

“Forest Wind will be able to harness the Wide Bay-Burnett region’s great local wind resource, which flows in directly from the Pacific Ocean.

“Subject to final consideration and the company finalising all contractual agreements, construction could commence as early as the fourth quarter of 2020,” Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said.

In addition, the multi-billion dollar project is being advanced as an Exclusive Transaction by the State Government’s Investment Facilitation and Partnership Group, which is within the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

“This group aims to provide clear entry point for major investment projects and a customised and streamlined pathways to decision-makers across governments,” Minister Dick said.

Forest Wind is anticipated to be operational by late-2023 and it is going to be connected to the National Electricity Market through Powerlink Queensland’s Woolooga Station via a high-voltage transmission line from the southwest corner of the wind farm.

This project is being developed by Forest Wind Holdings Pty Limited, which is a joint venture between Queensland-based CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services.

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Source: Queensland Government; Renew Economy; Industry Queensland; Forest Wind

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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