Queensland could have a new utility-scale wind farm connected to its grid by as early as next year, with plans for a 64MW project west of Kingaroy approved by the state Labor government.
Minister for planning Cameron Dick says the Mannuem wind farm has been cleared for construction and is expected to be operational in 2020.
The $128 million project is set to be built in the South Burnett Regional Council area by China-owned company Australian Energy Wind Farm, on land the company has already purchased.
According to southburnett.com.au, AEWF – which has an office on the Gold Coast – is fully owned by China’s Heilongjiang Ainaji Dianli Pty Ltd, which has been involved in 85 renewable energy projects overseas.
In a statement on Monday, Queensland’s minister for energy, Anthony Lynham, said Mannuem would further boost the state’s renewables pipeline, and place further downward pressure on electricity prices.
“This project is one part of over $1.6 billion worth of renewable energy investment underway or recently operating in the Darling Downs and South West regions, creating more than 1000 jobs in construction and 860 megawatts of renewable generation capacity,” he said.
This includes the 453MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which is situated 250km north-west of Brisbane between Dalby and Kingaroy, and achieved first generation in June of this year.
“This project will deliver 16 new turbines and, coupled with the 123 turbines in nearby Coopers Gap, that’s nearly 140 turbines delivering power to the region,” added minister Dick.
“It’s a huge jobs boost for the area and will help us achieve our renewable energy target.”
During construction, the project is expected to create 100 new jobs, and a further five ongoing jobs once the wind farm is operational.
A spokesperson for AEWF said construction was expected to commence as early as March 2020.
The project will include the upgrading of roads leading to the site, as well as the construction of 8km of new roads within the block.
It will also require constriction of a new substation by Powerlink, which will be funded by AEWF.