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The Queensland Government has announced plans to almost double the capacity of  Wambo Wind Farm in the state’s southwest, adding an extra 41 turbines to the project.

The Queensland Government had previously committed to a 42 turbine wind farm in Jandowae, with an extra 41 turbines to be added to the project.

The government said the additional turbines are expected to add enough generation to the overall project to power the equivalent of 312,000 homes with renewable energy once complete.

The government said that the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and renewable energy projects, including Wambo stages one and two, are expected to save households about $150 each year by 2032, while small businesses will see a reduction of around $1,495 off their annual power bills.

The government also said that wholesale prices are expected to decrease by approximately 15 per cent by 2040 due to Queensland’s plan to transition to renewable energy.

Doubling the size of Wambo means the facility is predicted to generate 506MW of energy by 2026, with the 83 turbines reaching 247m up in the air.

The wind farm, which will feature some of the largest onshore wind turbines in the nation, will contribute to Queensland’s target of 70 per cent renewables by 2032.

The government said the project will boost the local economy, with about 200 direct construction jobs and up to 500 more indirect jobs during the multi-year build.

Foundations for the first wind turbines on stage one are underway with construction of stage two expected to commence in mid-2024.

Commercial operation of stage one is projected for 2025, while stage two is projected for 2026.

The project is expected to create an additional eight ongoing jobs.

The project is being delivered in partnership between publicly owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation, and global sustainable developers, Cubico.

Under the venture, Stanwell will own 50 per cent of the energy produced, and will purchase the rest of the power from Cubico under a 15-year agreement. 

Wambo Wind Farm stages one and two are backed by a $455 million investment from the Queensland Government’s Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund for Stanwell’s share in the project. 

Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni, said, ”Queensland has the cheapest power of any state in Australia thanks to our nation-leading cost of living relief support and growing renewables base – and today’s announcement will help keep it that way.

“Major industrial energy users are seeking low emissions power to decarbonise their production and the Miles Government is delivering, because that’s good for the economy and good for jobs. 

“Queensland has been the world leader in rooftop solar, and now we are building world-class wind power thanks to partnerships between publicly owned energy companies like Stanwell, and world-renowned clean energy company Cubico Sustainable Investments.

“Queensland’s abundant wind resources are attracting growing global interest, creating jobs and economic opportunity for Queensland.

“The Miles Government is getting the balance right – ensuring energy is cheaper, cleaner, and more secure, while protecting and creating more jobs in more industries,” Mr de Brenni said.

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Rourke, said, “Wambo Wind Farm is one piece of Stanwell Corporation’s rapidly advancing portfolio of renewable energy assets. It is the 14th renewable energy project in which we have an interest or offtake and moves us one step – or 41 turbines – closer to our target of nine to 10GW of clean energy by 2025.

“We are thrilled to partner with global clean energy leader, Cubico Sustainable Investments on the next stage of Wambo Wind Farm as we know they bring the right mix of industry expertise and innovation to this project, along with a genuine commitment to sharing the benefit of the renewable energy transformation with Queensland’s vibrant regional communities,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Cubico Head of Country, David Smith, said, “As a world leading renewable energy company, Cubico is proud of our role assisting Queensland to achieve its ambitious renewables goals, with more than 500MW achieving construction to date. 

“Cubico’s pipeline of development projects is at 2GW and growing, signalling our commitment to being a key partner in the decarbonization of Queensland’s and Australia’s energy landscape and a long-term partner for local communities. 

“Cubico is proud to be partnering with Stanwell with the expansion of Wambo Wind Farm to further deliver upon the Queensland Government’s Energy and Jobs Plan.

“Cubico is one of the world’s largest privately held global renewable energy companies and we are keen to invest more in our Australian projects. Queensland is a key focus for us thanks to the Queensland government’s supportive renewable energy policies,” Mr Smith said.

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