Two wind farms given green light near Warwick

Two wind farms given green light near Warwick

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A turbine on one of Acciona's Gunning wind farm in NSW.

A turbine on one of Acciona's Gunning wind farm in NSW.

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Two wind farms on the Southern Downs have been given the green light by the State Assessment and Referral Agency, with the projects set to create up to 400 jobs.

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Two wind farms on the Southern Downs have been given the green light by the State Assessment and Referral Agency, with the projects set to create up to 400 jobs during construction.

Energy company Acciona has received approval to build the $1.96 billion MacIntyre Wind Farm Precinct at Cement Mills, approximately 40 kilometres south-west of Warwick, with construction expected to start in the second half of this year.

The precinct will include two farms, the 162 turbine MacIntyre Wind Farm and the small 18 turbine Karara Wind Farm, which will be owned and operated by the Government-owned energy generator, CleanCo Queensland.

The development will also include 64km of overhead transmission line to the Powerlink network near Millmerran.

The precinct will be located on land predominantly used for sheep production, with the site chosen due to its high winds.

Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Steven Miles said the 180 wind turbines would add up to 1026 megawatts of energy into the state's electricity network.

"Once operational the MacIntyre Wind Farm Precinct is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to supply about 700,000 Queensland homes," he said.

The project is also expected to provide an extra 240 jobs for the construction of the transmission line and 14 full-time jobs once the precinct is operating.

Acciona has also tipped that its local spend during construct will exceed $500 million.

Energy minister Mick de Brenni said the $1.96 billion project would deliver jobs for Queenslanders.

"This will deliver significant economic benefits for the Darling Downs and beyond, and more renewable megawatts as the state works to reach its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030," he said.

In addition to owning and operating the Karara Wind Farm, CleanCo will also purchase 400 megawatts of renewable energy per year from the MacIntyre Wind Farm.

CleanCo CEO Maia Schweizer said the approval is a significant step forward for the project.

"CleanCo is proud to be partnering with Acciona to deliver such a significant project in Queensland's renewable energy landscape," Dr Schweizer said.

"With this project we are harnessing wind with a profile that perfectly complements solar energy - that allows us to provide reliable, affordable low-emissions energy to our large commercial and industrial customers using our unique portfolio, and is an important step toward unlocking Queensland's potential to generate and use globally competitive clean energy."

Acciona's Australian managing director for energy Brett Wickham said the 36,000-hectare MacIntyre wind farm represents the company's largest ever wind farm.

"We are excited to be moving forward with this project and are proud to support the Queensland Government's decarbonisation strategy," he said.

"The precinct will avoid the emission of nearly 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year."

The precinct is expected to be fully operational by 2024.

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