GREEN LIGHT: A wind farm has been approved south west of Gladstone. (AP Photo/Matt Young,File)
GREEN LIGHT: A wind farm has been approved south west of Gladstone. (AP Photo/Matt Young,File)

Green light for $350m wind farm

A $350 million wind farm south-west of Gladstone set to create 150 jobs, has been given the go-ahead by the Queensland Government.

The project is expected to generate around 180 megawtts at capacity, enough to power 120,000 homes - around five times the number of Gladstone house.

The project is being undertaken by Orange Creek Energy Pty Ltd, a subsidiary renewable energy company of Lacour Energy based in Brisbane.

Director James Townsend said the wind farm, located in the Banana Range 20km west of Biloela, will produce most of its power at night from the area known for its strong overnight winds.

"The onsite powerline and excellent wind resource mean that the project can supply competitively priced electricity," Mr Townsend said.

"The project is very complementary to the daytime energy from rooftop solar and the solar farms that have recently been built in Queensland.

"We estimate there will be an injection of $30-40 million into the regional economy during the construction through the employment of local contractors and service providers.

"We are also going to provide $100,000 each year to support projects or initiatives in nearby communities through a community benefits fund."

Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the project will provide a huge boost for the local enconomy.

"With up to 150 construction jobs and up to 15 ongoing jobs, the Banana Range Wind Farm will not only generate electricity for homes and businesses but will be an economic energy source for the surrounding region," Mr Dick said.

"Besides the great environmental benefits for Queensland, investment in projects such as this also creates a flow-on economic effect for local businesses and assists in diversifying the town's economy."

The site will be home to 50 turbines. Construction will begin in 2020 and take about two years. It will not impact on the lifespan of existing generators.


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