Qld-owned generator seals wind power deal

A government-owned energy provider has signed a power purchase deal with what will be one of the state’s largest grid-connected wind farms in Central Queensland.

Richard Van Breda

Renewable energy development company Lacour Energy and wind turbine technology provider Goldwind will build the 450 MW wind farm at Clarke Creek, which will sell nearly 75 per cent of its energy to Stanwell Corporation.

Stanwell is a major provider of energy to Queensland and the national electricity market and operates several coal and gas-powered stations in the state.

The Clarke Creek Wind Farm will be situated about 150 km north-west of Rockhampton near Marlborough in the Isaac and Livingstone Shire council areas.

The location has exposure to predominantly night-time wind, which means it will complement the Queensland’s high levels of day-time solar, Goldwind Australia Managing Director John Titchen said.

Construction of the two-stage project is expected to start in 2021, with energy flowing into the grid from 2023.

The first stage of the program will involve 101 wind turbines, which will provide enough energy to power 320,000 homes, Mr Titchen said.

Stage two will provide the final 400 MW.

Government generations move to renewables

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Stanwell is now the third of the state’s publicly owned generators to support renewable energy, along with CleanCo and CS Energy.

Stanwell CEO Richard Van Breda says the Clarke Creek deal involves a 348 MW offtake from the new wind farm, which would help reduce the the generator’s carbon intensity while providing clean power.

“The Clarke Creek Wind Farm offtake agreement will enable us to provide clean, renewable energy to our customers, and also decarbonise our portfolio,” he said.

Queensland has now seen 39 renewable energy projects operational, under construction or financially committed over the past five years, member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the development would complement the new renewable energy zone in Central Queensland.

Renewable energy zones

The state government is investing $145 million to establish three renewable energy corridors across Southern, Central and northern Queensland.

The renewable energy zones will bring together a mix of renewable generation options – including solar, wind and storage – with infrastucture within a defined geographic area.

They offer a combined long-term potential for 16,000 megawatts of renewable capacity, the government says.

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