The government of Queensland has agreed to provide facilitation support for the construction of a proposed windfarm in the Wide Bay region of the state.
Called Forest Wind, the project would be built within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough and cost an estimated A$2bn ($1.3bn). It will create approximately 440 jobs during the construction period while supporting the states future electricity needs.
Queensland State Development Minister Cameron Dick said: “This would be one the largest grid-connected windfarms in the southern hemisphere. The windfarm would generate approximately 1,200MW at capacity, which will power more than 550,000 homes.
“This is enough power for all homes across the Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast combined, or the entire Brisbane City Council area. This could increase Queensland’s installed power generation capacity by approximately 9%.
“The project is being advanced as an exclusive transaction as part of the Queensland Government’s investment facilitation services. It will now move into the detailed assessment stage, which will also include the assessment of its development application.”
Forest Wind Holdings intends to install up to 226 wind turbines at the site and is a joint venture (JV) company of Queensland-based renewables firm CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services.
The JV company also noted that subject to obtaining all the required approvals, construction works at the site are expected to begin by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Once completed, the new windfarm combined with other wind energy projects in the state would represent 12% of Queensland’s installed generation capacity.
Siemens Australia chairman and CEO Jeff Connolly said: “Through our financing arm, Siemens Financial Services (SFS), we are excited to invest in one of the world’s largest onshore windfarms in Queensland, helping Australia secure its energy future.
“Siemens has a long and proud history in Queensland and Australia dating back almost 150 years. The company has provided critical leading technology supporting infrastructure and industry, ranging from energy to water, transport, agribusiness, manufacturing, mining and resources, healthcare and even sugar and beer.
“This new partnership and the joint venture is a natural extension of our relationship.”