$1 billion farm development to bring 350 jobs
CLOSE TO 200 wind turbines will sit on the ranges between Mackay and Rockhampton under a $1 billion development green-lighted by the state government.
The Palaszczuk Government has this week approved development for Lacour Energy's wind farm project, which will see up to 195 wind turbines constructed at Clarke Creek, about 150km south of Mackay.
The project, which will involve about 350 jobs during construction, will be one of the largest in Australia. The location is believed to be one of the windiest in Queensland.
Lacour Energy director Mark Rayner said the wind farm would have a power output of more than over 800 megawatts of electricity.
"It is a unique renewable energy project which combines excellent wind and solar resources at a location directly adjacent to the backbone of the Powerlink 275 kV transmission network," Mr Rayner said.
"The wind farm development approval is a significant milestone for the project.
"We look forward to completing the feasibility study by the end of the year so that construction can begin early next year."
In their development plans, Lacour said Clarke Creek was an area of "high wind and solar resources" and benefits from being close to existing roads including Marlborough-Sarina Rd.
The project would see the company give the community $200,000 a year for 25 years, through a community fund for local projects.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said in addition to building the turbines, associated infrastructure will include substations, temporary workers' accommodation, staff and operational facilities and power lines.
"This means jobs for the region over the project's 36-month construction period and more clean energy that our State can tap into," Mr Dick said.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the new wind farm was part of Queensland's $20 billion pipeline of energy projects - with projects worth almost $4.5 billion under way or financially committed.
He said Lacour Energy has worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts of the wind farm as well as impacts on fauna and vegetation.