By CAITLIN CROWLEY
THE largest wind farm to ever be built in Australia is officially under construction, 60kms west of Warwick on Queensland’s Southern Downs.
The $2 billion MacIntyre Wind Precinct will have 180 turbines, capable of producing 1,026MW of clean energy and generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 700,000 homes annually.
The project will be made up of two wind farms – the 18 turbine Karara Wind Farm owned and operated by state-owned enterprise CleanCo, and the 162 turbine MacIntyre Wind Farm owned and operated by ACCIONA Energía.
“I believe MacIntyre is the start of a golden age of renewable energy in Australia… one that takes full advantage of our renewable resources with projects that help drive and develop our regional economies,” ACCIONA Energía managing director Brett Wickham said.
“MacIntyre is the largest project ACCIONA Energía has undertaken anywhere in the world and will be our flagship development for many years to come.”
The Precinct will create more than 450 direct jobs during construction with an additional 220 jobs supported by Powerlink to build the transmission infrastructure.
Queensland suppliers are expected to benefit from $500 million in work associated with the project.
Once operational in 2024, the wind farm will employ 15 staff to maintain the site.
“MacIntyre will avoid about 3 million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere,” Wickham said.
“It shows that renewable energy projects can both achieve our climate goals as well as create hundreds of real jobs and bring in hundreds of millions of new investment in the process”.
CleanCo Chair Jacqui Walters said the project was a major step forward with the renewable energy generated by the MacIntyre Precinct helping to support CleanCo to deliver reliable, clean energy solutions at a competitive price for customers, helping them thrive in a net zero future.
“With the capacity to supply the equivalent of nearly 700-thousand homes, this massive MacIntyre project will substantially boost renewable energy supply in Queensland helping our industries, businesses and communities to achieve their sustainability goals,” Waters said.
Queensland based Ark Energy is a co-investor in ACCIONA Energía’s MacIntyre Wind Farm and its CEO Daniel Kim said it’s a huge privilege to be partnering with ACCIONA Energía on this landmark project.
“With our equity offtake from MacIntyre we plan to accelerate the decarbonisation of our sister company’s zinc refinery in Townsville as part of their ambition to be one of the first major refineries in the world to produce green zinc,” Kim said.