Jobs blow in from new FNQ wind farm

Published Monday, 05 October, 2020 at 06:00 AM

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Jobs blow in from new FNQ wind farm

Early works will start before the end of the year on a $380 million wind farm in Far North Queensland, creating 150 jobs, thanks to a sales deal with publicly-owned CleanCo.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Neoen Energy would build the Kaban Green Power Hub near Ravenshoe, 80 kilometres south-west of Cairns now that CleanCo had agreed to buy 110 MW of the wind farm’s output.

“Queensland has an economic plan for post-COVID recovery and affordable, reliable energy supply underpins that plan,” Dr Lynham said.

“That plan includes supporting emerging industries like renewable energy because that supports jobs.”

“This project is proceeding because the power purchase agreement with CleanCo has given Neoen certainty.”

Emergency Services Minister and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford welcomed the news about jobs and farm income.

“This 157 MW wind farm will mean 150 construction jobs as well as revenue for local farmers hosting the turbines,” he said.

“I understand that Neoen has also been working hard with our local business community to ensure maximum opportunity for locals when early works start later this year.

“This is another great example of our publicly-owned energy businesses working for Queenslanders.”

Neoen Australia’s managing director Louis de Sambucy said Neoen was delighted to be working with CleanCo and Powerlink on their second Queensland project together.

“This agreement underscores our deepening involvement in the state’s clean energy transition, and we are proud to be supporting Queensland’s progress towards its ambitious target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, “ Mr Sambucy said.

“We look forward to Kaban delivering an economic boost to Far North Queensland, supporting the region’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.”

The project will also provide diversified revenue to local farmers hosting the turbines and will see Neoen establish an annual $50,000 Community Benefit Fund for local community-building initiatives over the duration of the project’s life.

CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said CleanCo was proud to be involved in this new renewable energy project which will continue to improve electricity affordability for Queensland.

“As demonstrated by our recent agreements with BHP and Coles, large energy users in Queensland are increasingly looking to power their businesses with affordable renewable energy, which gives us the confidence to continue to support projects like Kaban,” she said.

First generation is expected in 2023 and the project will generate enough energy to power about 95,900 Queensland homes.

Over the past five years under Labor, 42 large-scale renewable energy projects have launched, representing  more than $8 billion in investment and more than 6500 construction jobs.