Renewable energy company Lacour Energy and wind turbine technology provider Goldwind will build a billion-dollar wind farm in Central Queensland, creating 350 new jobs.
The announcement comes after the two companies sealed an agreement to sell nearly 75% of the energy generated to Stanwell Corporation, one of Queensland’s publicly owned generators.
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said construction of 450 MW Clarke Creek wind farm – to be located about 150 km north-west of Rockhampton near Marlborough – is expected to commence in 2021, with energy to flow into the grid from 2023.
“The Clarke Creek Wind Farm is a welcome addition to the 39 large scale renewable projects already committed or operational since 2015,” the Minister said.
“Stanwell and our other two publicly-owned generators, CleanCo and CS Energy, have now supported or own more than 1900 MW of renewable energy generation.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the two-stage project was expected to generate about $130 million in benefits to the local economy over its lifetime.
“Queensland’s renewable energy revolution has seen 39 projects operational, under construction or financially committed over the past five years, representing 5700 jobs,” he said.
“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of generation, which means that more renewables helps put more downward pressure on electricity prices.
“Projects like Clarke Creek deliver for jobs and for our power bills.”
Goldwind Australia Managing Director John Titchen said Clarke Creek Wind Farm would be ‘one of Queensland’s largest grid-connected wind farms’.
“The 450MW first stage of the project will comprise 101 wind turbines; enough to power the equivalent of approximately 320,000 Queensland homes,” he said.
“Stage two will provide a further 400 MW.
“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 company has inked a 348 MW offtake agreement with Clarke Creek Wind Farm, which would help reduce the carbon intensity of its generation portfolio.
“Our large commercial and industrial customers want ‘greener’ products to complement other sustainability actions that they are taking,” Mr Van Breda said.
“The Clarke Creek Wind Farm offtake agreement will enable us to provide clean, renewable energy to our customers, and also decarbonise our portfolio.”