Queensland approves Acciona's AU$2bn wind farm

Out-Law News | 29 Apr 2021 | 7:17 am | 1 min. read

Queensland's state government has approved the construction of Spanish energy company Acciona’s 1.026 gigawatts (GW) Maclntyre wind complex in the Southern Downs region.

The project will cost AU1.96 billion ($1.51bn) and will consist of a 926 megawatts (MW) first phase and a 100MW second phase.

The project is located at Cement Mills, around 225 kilometres south-east of Brisbane, and will span 36,000 hectares. There will be also a 64-kilometre overhead transmission line linking it to the Powerlink network near Millmerran. The wind power complex will consist of 180 Nordex Delta4000 turbines, each with a capacity of 5.7MW.

Acciona, in partnership with Ark Energy, a subsidiary of Korean non-ferrous metals smelter Korea Zinc Co Ltd, will develop and operate 926MW of capacity within the Macintyre wind complex with a further 100MW to be built and operated by CleanCo, a Queensland government-owned renewable energy generator. On completion, the project will be one of Acciona's largest energy facilities.

George Varma, a renewable energy expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: "The scale of the MacIntyre project will make it as one of the largest onshore wind facilities in Australia. There continues to be a healthy level of investment in the Australian renewable energy sector in the private sector. The challenge will be to ensure that our grid and transmission infrastructure can keep up with the pace at which Australia is developing generating assets."

Acciona will supply CleanCo with 400MW worth of clean power for 10 years through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Construction work will start in mid-2021 and the complex is expected to be fully operational in 2024.

400 local jobs will be secured over the life of the project, while local spend during construction is expected to be over AU$500m ($388.8m).