The mammoth MacIntyre Wind Farm near Warwick and the Western Downs Green Power Hub solar farm near Chinchilla will power almost the entire Queensland operations of supermarket giant Coles.

Coles has announced a 10-year partnership with state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo to source more than 90% of its Queensland electricity requirements from July 2022.

Under the arrangement Coles will purchase 400GWh annually from CleanCo, a statement by the company said.

“The 10-year partnership will reduce Coles’ electricity carbon dioxide emissions nationally by an estimated 20% or 240,000 tonnes annually, which is the annual equivalent of taking 100,000 vehicles off the road,” the statement said.

Once constructed, the $540 million Western Downs Green Power Hub by Neoen will be Australia’s largest solar farm, while the $1.96 billion MacIntyre Wind Farm by Acconia will be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The Caller previously revealed exclusively that the Chinchilla solar farm alone would employ up to 700 people, many of whom will be unskilled labourers.

The first power generation is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.

CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said providing competitively priced clean energy to Coles would allow the retailer to create growth and jobs in Queensland’s Western and Southern Downs regions.

“We are proud to partner with Coles and provide renewables-backed power for its Queensland sites under one contract,” Dr Schweizer said.

She said CleanCo’s goal was to generate 1000MW of renewable energy by 2025.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the significant increase in renewable energy was part of Coles’ aim of becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.

“We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 36.5% since 2009, while growing our team member base and store network,” he said.

An artist impression of the Western Downs Green Power Hub. IMAGE SUPPLIED

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