The Queensland State Government has granted development approval to a $2 billion 1.2GW grid-connected wind farm project in Queensland’s Wide Bay-Burnett region. The renewable energy project is one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere to be connected to the grid.
The project called Forest Wind, will be developed at a site within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough.
Forest Wind is a joint venture (JV) company of Queensland-based renewables company CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services.
Forest Wind will comprise of up to 226 wind turbines and the proposed project’s construction will create approximately 440 jobs as well as 50 full time operational jobs.
The construction works at the site could commence as early as the fourth quarter in 2020.
Forest Wind Holdings chairman James Pennay said: “We have established a 3km separation distance from residents to wind turbines to ensure industry, the local community and the environment can coexist harmoniously.
“We have been undertaking consultation with the local community and stakeholders and we are looking forward to continuing that engagement through the next phase of the project’s development, including with the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi first nation peoples.”
Queensland State Development Minister Cameron Dick said: “This is a major clean energy project for Queensland and will contribute to our target of 50% renewables by 2030.
Forest Wind has the potential to generate up to 1,200MW of electricity at capacity, which is enough to supply one in four Queensland homes. This is enough power for all homes across the Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast combined.
The wind farm is proposed to be developed within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough, a unique location and a great example of coexistence between established southern pine timber plantations that support our forestry industry and new large-scale renewable energy.”