The Government of Queensland in Australia has granted development approval for the 1.2GW grid-connected wind farm project that will be built in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

Called Forest Wind, the project will be developed with an estimated investment of A$2bn ($1.3bn) at a site within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough.

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Forest Wind is a joint venture (JV) company of Queensland-based renewables company CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services.

The construction works at the site are expected to begin by the fourth quarter of the year.

Forest Wind Holdings chairman James Pennay said: “We have established a 3km separation distance from residents to wind turbines to ensure industry, the local community and the environment can coexist harmoniously.

“We have been undertaking consultation with the local community and stakeholders and we are looking forward to continuing that engagement through the next phase of the project’s development, including with the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi first nation peoples.”

Forest Wind will be equipped with 226 wind turbines and is expected to create approximately 440 jobs during the construction period.

Following the completion, the project is expected to increase Queensland’s existing renewable energy capacity of 5,500MW.

Queensland State Development Minister Cameron Dick said: “This is a major clean energy project for Queensland and will contribute to our target of 50% renewables by 2030.

“Forest Wind has the potential to generate up to 1,200MW of electricity at capacity, which is enough to supply one in four Queensland homes. This is enough power for all homes across the Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast combined.

“The wind farm is proposed to be developed within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough, a unique location and a great example of coexistence between established southern pine timber plantations that support our forestry industry and new large-scale renewable energy.”

In December 2019, the Government of Queensland agreed to provide facilitation support for the construction of the Forest Wind project.