By HARRY CLARKE
THE MacIntyre Wind Precinct will double in size, making it of the largest of its kind in the world, following an announcement by ACCONIA Energía to build the new $2 billion Herries Range Wind Farm west of Warwick.
The 1,000MW Herries Range Wind Farm will be built within the exisiting MacIntyre Wind Precinct, bringing the precinct value to $4 billion and the total amount of renewable energy produced to 2,000MW – enough to power 1.4 million Queensland homes.
The announcement was made during a visit to the Port of Brisbane by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and cabinet ministers Cameron Dick, Steven Miles and Mick de Brenni, who inspected wind turbine components awaiting transport to the MacIntyre Wind Precinct.
The 1,023MW MacIntyre Precinct, already under construction, will be equipped with 180 turbines. The Herries Range project, also 180 turbines, will support up to 600 additional jobs during construction, a government statement said.
“Today we’re proud to announce that we have commenced development activities for the Herries Range Wind Farm to add an additional thousand megawatts of renewable energy to Queensland’s energy mix,” said ACCIONA Energía’s Managing Director in Australia, Brett Wickham (pictured).
“With this project we expect to dramatically accelerate the decarbonization of Queensland’s electricity grid.“
“Our goal is to roll from construction of MacIntyre straight into the neighboring Herries Range. This means that workers can move from one large scale project to the next whilst staying in the same area.”
As well at the the MacIntyre and Herries Range wind farms, the MacIntyre Wind Precinct also comprises government-owned energy company CleanCo’s proposed Karara Wind Farm.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the new jobs created would be in addition to the 220 jobs needed to build Powerlink’s transmission infrastructure connecting the MacIntyre precinct to the national grid.
Palaszczuk said the deal showed that Queensland was a “front runner” in attracting international investment in the global energy transformation.
“Our Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is all about bringing more cheaper, cleaner energy into the system, while building the Queensland economy and that’s exactly that this deal does,” she said.
“ACCIONA Energia are one of the world’s leading developers of renewable energy projects and this additional $2 billion commitment is a strong endorsement that Queensland is a renewable energy superpower.
“The $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan will unlock even more investment, more economic growth for Queensland, and more good jobs.
“This deal also demonstrates that our bold vision to deliver an energy system that is made up of 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032, has boosted investor interest”.