Clarke Creek wind farm is an 800MW wind project being developed in Queensland, Australia. It will become one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere upon completion.
The wind farm is part of a wider 1,200MW project, which also comprises 400MW of solar power and battery energy storage. The entire project is being developed by Lacour with an investment of over A$1.5bn ($1bn).
The wind project will produce sufficient electricity to power approximately 590,000 homes upon completion, meeting 4% of Queensland’s electricity needs. It will also contribute to the Queensland Government’s plans to achieve its renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.
Clarke Creek wind farm received the national environmental approval in December 2018. The project is expected to generate up to 350 jobs during construction and up to 25 permanent roles after completion.
Construction of the wind farm is expected to commence in 2021 with operations scheduled to start by 2023.
The Clarke Creek wind farm will be built 150km northwest of Rockhampton in the Isaac and Livingstone Shire council areas of Central Queensland. The project site is situated 150km south of Mackay, approximately 50km inland on the Broadsound Range, on the backbone of Powerlink’s high-voltage transmission network.
The site was selected following an extensive site identification study across the state and was chosen based on the presence of strong wind and the high-capacity power lines, running parallel to the site.
To be developed in two stages, Clarke Creek wind farm will comprise 195 wind turbines supplied by Goldwind.
The first stage will produce 450MW of electricity, using 101 Goldwind wind turbines to supply sufficient power to approximately 320,000 Queensland homes.
The turbines at the wind farm will be of horizontal axis type with the rotor, consisting of three blades. The maximum length of the rotor will be up to 90m while the maximum hub height will be up to 150m. The turbine to blade tip height will be up to 220m.
The turbines will be linked to each other in strings of approximately eight turbines. Each wind turbine will be connected through a combination of a 33kV underground cable and overhead lines, leading to the main transformers located in the substations. The wind farm will be connected to the Powerlink 275kV transmission network.
The feasibility phase of the project included studies, covering wind and solar resource assessments, environmental assessments, network connection, and layout design.
The civil works for the project will include surveying, clearing, and stripping of the site. The construction of the 250km access road and 1.1 million m² of hardstands will be undertaken, along with an operations and maintenance building.
The foundation works for the turbines will involve excavation, steel reinforcement, backfill and rehabilitation. The construction will include 120,000m³ of concrete pouring and lifting of turbines components, weighing approximately 170,000t.
The electrical works will include the installation of 120km of 33kV underground cable and a kiosk, as well as the construction of a substation.
A 348MW power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed with Queensland government-owned electricity generation company Stanwell in August 2020.
The PPA with Stanwell will facilitate the completion of the final steps in the development phase of the wind farm project.
Lacour Energy partnered with Goldwind Australia for delivery of the project. Goldwind will supply the wind turbines and manage construction works.
AECOM prepared the construction management plan for the project.
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