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Money Massive wind farm approved in central Queensland

04:56  06 june  2018
04:56  06 june  2018 Source:

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The latest is the 800MW Clarke Creek wind farm in central Queensland , which The wind farm will consist of up to 195 wind turbines with a total wind farm capacity over 800 MW, while the solar farm – which was approved by the council earlier this year – could range in size from 200MW to 400MW.

Just last month, Australian renewable energy company Lacour lodged a development application to build a massive wind farm of up to 195 turbines, and potentially around 800MW in installed capacity, in Queensland ’s Isaac Region.

a tree with a mountain in the background: An artist's impression of the project, which is expected to begin next year.© Lacour An artist's impression of the project, which is expected to begin next year.

A billion-dollar wind farm planned for central Queensland is set to be the biggest in the state and one of the largest in Australia.

The 195-turbine Lacour Energy project at Clarke Creek, north-west of Rockhampton, has been granted State Government approval, with construction expected to begin next year.

Company director Mark Rayner said the turbines would be positioned across eight cattle grazing properties, stretching 50 kilometres along the Broadsound Range and covering 76,000 hectares.

"We have the full support of the landowners on which the project will be built on," he said.

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With the full feasibility study yet to be completed, Lacour Energy is continuing wind measurements at the site as well as detailed cost estimates for the project.

"At this stage, we're quietly confident that the project is going to proceed," Mr Rayner said.

Isaac Regional Council Deputy Mayor Kelly Vea Vea said the council was generally supportive of the project, but there had been some angst in the community over the potential impacts.

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"We are still waiting for that finer detail of the conditions associated to our existing infrastructure like our road networks et cetera," she said.

The impact on the Marlborough-Sarina road is of particular concern to the Council and Clarke Creek residents, as it provides an important road link on the western side of the Broadsound Range.

Mr Rayner said the company would be required to pay for any damage it causes to the road network during the transportation of the massive turbines.

Lacour Energy also plans to establish an annual $200,000 community benefit fund as a sweetener for the local community.

The project also has a solar farm component, but Mr Rayner said that was not a requirement for it to proceed.

"It's quite possible that one side of the project will go first or will be constructed without the other component at this stage," he said.

Farm part of $20 billion energy plan

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the project would support the Queensland Government's plan of a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

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Lacour said the wind farm had been approved with battery storage capability, and – like an increasing number of other large-scale renewables projects currently Once completed, it is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to supply 3 per cent of Queensland ’s electricity demand, annually.

The location will allow the wind farm to easily plug into the State Government-owned Powerlink 275 kV transmission network, which runs adjacent to the site.

The project is billed to create 350 jobs during construction and about 20 ongoing roles.

At its peak, the wind farm is expected to generate 800 megawatts of power annually, making up 3 per cent of Queensland's current electricity needs.

Mr Dick said the approval had strict conditions attached to minimise noise impacts and disturbance to fauna and vegetation.

"The turbines will have blade tips up to 220 metres above the base of the wind turbine tower," he said.

The Government said the project was part of the $20 billion worth of energy projects planned in Queensland, with about $4.5 billion worth already underway or financially committed.

"We're confident as this new technology rolls out we'll continue to reduce the cost of renewable energy," Mr Dick said.

Council backs coal and renewables

There are already 10 solar farms approved in the Isaac region with more under consideration.

They sit alongside the region's 26 operating coal mines and a further seven that are pending approval.

"We really are a region that is feeding and powering and building communities all across the globe and we're really proud of that," Cr Vea Vea said.

"You don't have to be pro-coal or pro-renewables, we're showing that on the ground, you can do both."

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