By HARRY CLARKE
CONSTRUCTION of a new wind farm which will feature some of the country’s tallest onshore turbines is underway, as contractors break ground at the project site outside Jandowae on Queensland’s Western Downs.
The Wambo Wind Farm is a 50-50 joint venture between multinational renewable energy company Cubico Sustainable Investments and publicly-owned power generator Stanwell Corporation.
The Queensland Government has fronted $192.5 million towards Stanwell’s share of the project through its Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
Wambo Wind Farm’s “Stage 1” will comprise 42 turbines, generating 252MW of green energy, while “Stage 2” allows for the construction of an additional 68 turbines to potentially double the facility’s power output.
The Wambo site is located only about 20km from AGL’s mega 453MW, 123-turbine Coopers Gap Wind Farm on the western foothills of the Bunya Mountains.
Speaking at a sod turning ceremony to mark the official start construction, Stanwell CEO Michael O’Rourke said: “This 42 turbine wind farm forms part of Stanwell’s rapidly accelerating pipeline of renewable energy projects set to total 9-10 GW of clean energy capacity by 2035.”
“Our growing pipeline means that we can expand our renewable offerings for our commercial and industrial customers and support the Palaszczuk Government’s target of 80% renewable energy by 2035.”
Cubico’s Australian head David Smith added: “Cubico has been developing Wambo Wind Farm with Renewable Energy Partners since 2019, so we’re incredibly excited to have moved into construction for stage 1 of the project.”
“This is a real landmark in Queensland’s transition from coal to renewables and we’ve been very pleased to partner with the Queensland Government, Stanwell and Powerlink, which all share in our commitment to decarbonise Australia,” Smith said.
“Importantly, the project will play a significant role in supporting the Queensland Government’s Energy and Jobs Plan, and we are proud to be at the forefront of providing a transition to renewables for energy workers.”
The Wambo Wind Farm is expected to create about 200 jobs during construction jobs and will require up to nine ongoing operational and maintenance roles.
An additional 245 jobs will be created through Powerlink’s grid connection works.
Powerlink is building a new transmission line within an existing transmission corridor which passes through the Coopers Gap Wind Farm.
The process of installing the Wambo Wind Farm’s turbines is expected to run until December 2024. The facility expected to be producing energy by April 2025 and be fully completed by October that year.