Australia’s largest wind farm is set to begin construction after a sod-turning ceremony today.
Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham will turn the first sod on the $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm, located 250km west of Brisbane.
The 453MW project will produce approximately 1.5 million MWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power more than 260,000 average Australian homes when fully operational in mid-2019.
AGL general manager power development Dave Johnson said up to 200 jobs would be created during the peak of construction of the project, which reached financial close in August 2017.
“It is great to have Minister Lynham on hand today in the heart of the Coopers Gap community to celebrate the benefits of this momentous project,” Mr Johnson said.
“AGL, together with the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF), is excited about the works and we will be working closely with the GE Catcon consortium to ensure a successful project outcome for all stakeholders.
“The wind farm will employ up to 20 people once operational which means it will continue to deliver ongoing employment benefits in the local community after the construction phase.
“The gathering today for the sod turn is an important milestone after an extensive period of planning and development.”’
The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 123 turbines will reduce CO2 emissions by 1.18 million tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.
PARF is aiming to develop approximately 1000MW of large-scale renewable energy projects to be operated and managed by AGL.
It is a partnership between AGL (20 per cent) and QIC (80 per cent, on behalf of clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund).
PARF’s scope represents 20 per cent of the estimated 5000MW of new renewable generation capacity required by 2020 to meet the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target.