By HARRY CLARKE
PUBLICLY owned power generator CS Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with French energy giant EDF Renewables to progress the development of its Banana Range Wind Farm in central Queensland.
The agreement comes 12 months after EDF Renewables purchased the 50-turbine, 230MW wind farm project, situated about 20km west of Biloela at the northern end of the Belmont State Forest.
Under the agreement, CS Energy is considering both an off-take agreement and equity participation in the project, which also has development approval for a storage battery to be built at the site.
EDF Renewables Australia CEO Dave Johnson, who was previously a general manager at AGL and oversaw construction of its major Coopers Gap Wind Farm, said the memorandum of mnderstanding aligned both parties’ common interests in the region.
“CS Energy has an established, long-term presence in the Banana Shire Council district through its Callide Power Station, and EDF Renewables is building a large presence in the same community with the construction of the Banana Range Wind Farm,” Johnson said.
“It’s an ideal partnership that brings together like-minded companies working together on common interests, which includes maximising opportunities for the local community through the energy transformation.”
EDF Renewables is subsidiary of the Paris-based, French government-owned EDF Group, which is the world’s largest largest producer of electricity.
The Banana project will be the first of what EDF expects will be numerous renewable energy projects to be developed in Australia.
Construction was scheduled to begin later this year but the time frame has been pushed back to 2024, creating about 150 jobs.
It’s expected to begin generating electricity in 2026.
WATCH: Artist impression of the Banana Range Wind Farm
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Banana Range Wind Farm was part of a “renewable energy revolution” happening in the state.
“Since 2015, 50 large scale wind and solar farms have been committed with more than $10 billion of investment and supporting 7,900 jobs…putting Queensland another step closer to our 50 per cent renewable energy target while providing decent, secure jobs for Queenslanders,” Palaszczuk said.
Energy minister Mick de Brenni said wind farms added to the pipeline of renewable energy generation projects diversifying the portfolios of Queensland’s publicly-owned energy companies.
“It also demonstrates their important role in driving the energy transformation in this state,” de Brenni said.
“With an established presence in Central Queensland, CS Energy can draw on existing skills to build local capacity as part of the renewable revolution.
“With its commitment to local procurement, this project would create secure employment and training opportunities for communities like Biloela, Moura and Gladstone.”