Wind farm proposal on forest land gaining momentum

Friday 24 Jan 2020

 
A proposed large-scale wind farm project in the Wide Bay region of Queensland, valued at up to AU$2 billion, is moving forward thanks to facilitation support provided by the Palaszczuk Government. Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the Forest Wind project could create around 440 construction jobs and boost renewables supply for Queensland’s future energy needs.

“This would be one the largest grid-connected wind farms in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Dick said. “The wind farm would generate approximately 1200 megawatts at capacity, which will power more than 550,000 homes. This could increase Queensland’s installed power generation capacity by approximately nine per cent. The project will now move into the detailed assessment stage, which will also include the assessment of its development application.”

Mr Dick said the proposed wind farm would be located within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough. “It would co-exist with established southern pine timber plantations that support our forestry industry,” he said.

Forest Wind Holdings, a joint venture between Queensland-based renewables firm CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services, has proposed to locate up to 226 wind turbines across the sites. The plantations are owned and managed by HQPlantations on land under licence from the state.

“Locating the wind farm on plantation licence areas would be a first for Queensland. It’s a great example of private enterprise thinking outside the box to help boost renewable energy generation in our state.” Forest Wind Holdings has confirmed that subject to receiving all relevant approvals, construction of the wind farm could commence as early as fourth-quarter 2020.

HQPlantations CEO Jeremy Callachor said he was excited about the possibility of supporting the Queensland Government’s long-term renewable energy targets in a material way. “We will work closely with Forest Wind Holdings to leverage complementary opportunities for improvements in fire protection and road access in the estate, and to ensure there is minimal impact on timber production,” Mr Callachor said.

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