Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has announced that early works on a $380 million wind farm in Far North Queensland are set to start before the end of the year.
The announcement comes after project proponent Neoen – one of the world’s leading producers of renewable energy – signed a power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland under which the state-owned energy generator and retailer had agreed to buy 110 MW of the wind farm’s output.
Dr Lynham said the contract will enable Neoen to build the 157 MW Kaban wind farm near the town of Ravenshoe, 80 km south west of Cairns, delivering clean energy into Powerlink Queensland’s transmission network.
“Queensland has an economic plan for post-COVID recovery and affordable, reliable energy supply underpins that plan,” Dr Lynham said.
“That plan includes supporting emerging industries like renewable energy because that supports jobs.”
“This project is proceeding because the power purchase agreement with CleanCo has given Neoen certainty.”
Neoen Australia’s managing director Louis de Sambucy said the project will bring significant economic and community benefits to Far North Queensland, creating 150 new jobs.
“This agreement underscores our deepening involvement in the state’s clean energy transition, and we are proud to be supporting Queensland’s progress towards its ambitious target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Mr Sambucy continued.
“We look forward to Kaban delivering an economic boost to Far North Queensland, supporting the region’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.”
Emergency Services Minister and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the project will also provide diversified revenue to local farmers hosting the turbines.
“This 157 MW wind farm will mean 150 construction jobs as well as revenue for local farmers hosting the turbines,” he said.
“I understand that Neoen has also been working hard with our local business community to ensure maximum opportunity for locals when early works start later this year.
“This is another great example of our publicly-owned energy businesses working for Queenslanders.”
The project is expected to achieve first generation in 2023.