Transmission towers
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Work to connect Queensland’s electricity grid to the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere has reached a major milestone, with Powerlink successfully installing the 100th transmission tower.

Powerlink’s on-ground work for the MacIntyre Wind Precinct has now progressed past the halfway point in delivering 65km of 330kV transmission line, 167 towers and two switching stations.

Set to generate 1,026MW of wind power, the Precinct is comprised of ACCIONA Energia’s 923MW MacIntyre Wind Farm and neighbouring 102MW Karara Wind Farm.

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said, “Exceeding Powerlink’s halfway point in delivering grid connection works for the MacIntyre Wind Precinct demonstrates the strong commitment and dedication of our project team. 

“This project is a key part of Queensland’s ongoing transformation to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future, and our teams are playing a key role in delivering on the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

“Powerlink has partnered with a number of local suppliers across the region as part of supporting 220 jobs.  

“Engaging Southern Queensland businesses and sourcing local materials wherever possible is a key focus for this flagship renewable energy connection project.”

Other key project details include:

  • Total of 167 transmission towers, 50–60m in height at 400m intervals
  • MacIntyre Wind Precinct will produce 1GW of renewable generation powering 700,000 homes
  • Transmission project to support 220 jobs 
  • Construction works commenced in May 2022, and will continue for a period of 18 to 24 months, subject to good weather and site conditions
  • Powerlink has engaged a number of local suppliers to deliver project works including Coates Hire Toowoomba, Joe Wagner Group, Define, Arum and Redleaf
  • Powerlink’s construction work is expected to be completed in late 2023 with the wind farm precinct planned to start generating in stages from late 2024 and during 2025

ACCIONA Energia Managing Director, Brett Wickham, said, “Powerlink has been an outstanding partner to work with throughout this entire project. 

“The support, capability, and professionalism from the whole team at Powerlink is putting Queensland at the forefront of the renewable energy transition.

“This marks another step closer to the completion of one of the most significant renewable energy projects in Australia.

“We are very proud of MacIntyre’s foundational role in the Southern Renewable Energy Zone and thank all our partners in the Queensland Government, Powerlink, CleanCo, Stanwell Corporation, Ark Energy and most of all the local community who have been instrumental in supporting this vital project.” 

CleanCo Chief Executive Officer, Tom Metcalfe, said, “CleanCo has committed to purchasing 400MW of the energy generated by the MacIntrye Wind Farm through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

“The energy generated by the MacIntyre Wind Farm will enable us to deliver clean energy solutions to our customers – including Coles and Wesfarmers subsidiaries Kmart, Target, Bunnings and Officeworks – and help them thrive in a net zero future.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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