Queensland’s 800 MW wind farm to break ground with solar and battery approved

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Renewables developer Lacour Energy has secured an environmental approval from the federal government and is getting ready to start construction of the 800 MW Clarke Creek Wind Farm in 2019.

“The project has now received Federal Government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). Earlier this year, the wind farm project received Queensland Government planning approval for up to 195 wind turbines and approval was earlier secured for a 400 MW solar farm and a large utility scale battery,” said Director of Lacour Energy, Mark Rayner.

According to Rayner, the hybrid project is located at one at one of the most robust locations of the Queensland power system, where no grid expansion or reinforcement is required.

Such a huge hybrid project will make a significant contribution to Queensland’s ambitious Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030, which now appears within reach with up to 15 GW of large-scale renewable energy projects in the pipeline.

Lacour’s partner on the project is Chinese wind specialist Goldwind, which will supply up to 195 wind turbines to the project and manage construction works. 

“We are now seeking expressions of interest for the Balance of Plant tender process for the full civil and electrical works for the wind farm and we will shortly launch the Clarke Creek Local Business Participation Program,” Goldwind Australia Managing Director, John Titchen, noting that the program will maximise opportunities for local subcontractors and suppliers to participate in the project.

With a generation capacity of 800 MW, the billion wind farm component of the project is set to be one of the biggest wind projects in Australia. Once operational, the wind farm production will be enough to power around 590,000 Queensland homes.

“The Lacour Energy team have done excellent work identifying and developing this project. Wind conditions have been measured and shown to match very well with Goldwind’s latest advanced wind turbine technology. As is expected in this region, the solar resource has also proven to be very high quality,” said Titchen.

The $1.5 billion project is located 150 km north west of Rockhampton and 150km south of Mackay in the Isaac Shire and Livingstone Shire areas.

It is expected to create up to 350 jobs expected on site during construction of the wind farm and up to 25 permanent staff during operations.

A number of other renewable energy projects are in various stages of development in Queensland, including: the 60 MW hybrid Kennedy Energy Park, being built by Windlab in North Queensland, and the 50 MW Kidston solar farm + 250 MW pumped hydro project developed by Genex Power. Additionally Neoen’s 500 MW solar farm and large battery storage facility in south-west Queensland won the council planning approval in May.