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Windlab’s new 100MW wind farm approved for Queensland’s north

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Windlab’s Collgar Wind Farm near Merredin, in south-west Western Australia. Image: Windlab

Far North Queensland is set to get another wind farm, after a 100MW project got the green light from the state government for construction on the Cape York Peninsula.

ASX listed renewable energy developer Windlab said on Wednesday that its Lakeland Wind Farm would be built around 60km south of Cooktown in Queensland, after being approved by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

The project will include up to 30 wind turbines as well as electrical infrastructure and will generate enough power to to supply more than 50,000 homes – around the number of households in Cook Shire, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Region, and northern Cairns suburbs combined, the company said

Windlab has been busy in FNQ – itself a hive of large-scale renewable energy activity – rolling out the first phase of its world-leading wind, solar, and battery storage hybrid project, that will eventually become the 1200MW Kennedy Energy Park.

Kennedy Phase 1 is a 60MW wind, solar and storage hybrid plant located near Hughenden – a location chosen for its high and consistent wind resource using Windlab’s CSIRO developed proprietary Windscape technology.

In September, Windlab secured a 10-year agreement with the Queensland government-owned CS Energy to buy both the renewable energy and some of the large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) produced from Kennedy phase 1.

Wind power has come rather slowly to the Sunshine State, but the sector is now gathering speed and scale. 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.

And in the Darling Downs, construction has kicked off on Australia’s largest wind development, the AGL Energy owned 453MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm midway between Kingaroy and Dalby.

Coopers Gap, which is about 250km west of Brisbane, will produce around 1,510,000MWh of renewable energy a year – enough to power more than 260,000 average Australian homes when fully operational in mid-2019.

On the Lakeland project, Windlab CEO Roger Price said the company had worked closely with the department and local community to optimise the wind farm’s design and to accommodate the property development plans of a project neighbour.

The $200 million project will bring significant investment to the region and is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction, which is expected to take around one year.

“Lakeland Wind Farm is an exceptional project and we eagerly anticipate starting construction this year,” Price said.

“Working with the community is always key for us; we are therefore particularly pleased that we found a solution that aligns neighbour plans, planning code and project requirements.

“With construction of Kennedy Energy Park (Stage I) near Hughenden now in full swing and development of Stage II on the way, Windlab and North Queensland are contributing to securing affordable, diverse and reliable electricity for the benefit of all Queenslanders,” he said.  

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  • GlennM

    There were 800 MW Re announced in Jan…looks like another 800 MW in Feb…

  • david_fta

    Could it be that go-aheads for renewable energy projects were waiting upon the last Q State election result?

  • Ian

    In the early 90s I was part of a campaign to stop the damming of a river in the Daintree world heritage which was proposed by the conservative nutcase government of the time.
    Thank the lordy that didn’t happen! Using windpower for the region is a far better solution!

  • Jon

    It’s nice to see some more wind projects in Qld, and they’re nicely dispersed.
    The long skinny grid up the east coast that has been a disadvantage for so long is turning into a big advantage by being able to spread both wind and solar over a bigger distance and hopefully reduce the variability from localised conditions.
    Hoping to see the hydro and hydro pumping in Qld widget get some activity.
    Is there a wishlist section for the widget?, it’d be nice to see a cumulative/rolling 24 hour kWh number for the categories.

    • Andrew Scott

      Say it again Jon:

      “The long skinny grid up the east coast …… is turning into a big advantage by being able to spread both wind and solar over a bigger distance and …reduce the variability from localised conditions.”

      Comments in response to Renew Economy articles often indicate there are many writers who still do not understand that a key legacy of long grid lines along the eastern seaboard and across South Australia is that they can be beneficial to and facilitate uptake of renewable energy.

      So say it again, and again.

  • Chris Drongers

    It is hot enough up there. Don’t make it worse by putting up turbines that slow what air movement there is.

    • Frans Schutte

      Are you serious?

      • Chris Drongers

        Not really. But enough of anything and strange things can happen. Putting in a large field of solar panels increases absorbtion of sunlight (panels are darker than most ground or vegetation) and act as insulation at night so raising temperaures locally and globally (but by less than burning equivalent energy of coal) whereas on your roof a few panels will shade your house and reduce airconditioning demand.
        Evrn a large wind farm won’t affect things much more than 10 turbine heights downwind but put a hundred large wind farms together and you start to slow large weather systems.
        But we are orders of magnitude away from having to worry about large scale effects now.