The Queensland independent Coordinator-General has approved the environmental impact statement for AGL’s $500 million Coopers Gap wind farm proposal near Kingaroy in the state’s south east.
The wind farm is forecast to create 350 construction jobs and 20 permanent jobs when it is operational in 2020, supplying power through Powerlink’s existing transmission line to the network.
Queensland Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the decision was a win for jobs and businesses in the local area, and for the environment generally.
Dr Lynham said, “AGL has advised it will employ local people and use local contractors from across the Wide Bay Burnett and Darling Downs wherever possible.
“This project will contribute up to $4 million each year to the local economy.”
Queensland Minister for Energy, Mark Bailey, said Queensland’s biggest wind farm could generate up to 460MW of electricity and potentially power more than 240,000 households.
“This project is a clear example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to generating regional jobs, while acting on climate change and reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Bailey said.
“As a renewable energy project, it is estimated that around one million tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided through supply of the wind farm’s green power into the grid – the equivalent of taking about 320,000 petrol-driven cars off the road each year.”
Mr Bailey said the state government had already kick-started the renewable energy boom in Queensland with more than 1GW of privately funded renewable energy projects in the works, delivering over $2 billion of new state investment and more than 1900 direct jobs.
“We established a renewable energy expert panel to advise on credible pathways to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, and their advice is currently being considered.
“We’re committed to transitioning to a clean energy future responsibly which will see Queensland’s energy system powered by a mix of renewables, gas and traditional baseload generation.”
The Coordinator-General has placed conditions on his approval, including on noise compliance and testing, shadow flicker compliance and offsets for flora and fauna disturbance.