Plans to build Australia's biggest wind farm near Hughenden have been unveiled as part of a bid to provide low-cost energy for mining and industrial development in the North West Minerals Province.
The $2 billion plan is the brainchild of the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, a new company formed local engineers and a grazier.
The company said the 1GW Mount wind farm at Mount James, 70km north of Hughenden would have 200 turbines and be be developed in stages but was dependent on the $1.5 billion CopperString high voltage transmission line planned to link Townsville to Mount Isa.
That project is closing in on financial approval, boosted by a $14.5m investment by the state government.
NQREZ executive director and Townsville engineer John Keir told the Townsville Bulletin site acquisition, feasibility and planning studies had been completed, with approvals and permitting likely within 12 months with finance expected to complete by September quarter of 2021 and construction to start in 2022.
The project is near struggling Windlab's Kennedy Energy Park, whose first-stage 40MW of wind, 20MW of solar and 2MW/4MWh Tesla battery has been held up by a row between Windlab and its partner (a joint venture between wind turbine manufacturer Vesta and Quanta Services) and it also needs to pass the Australian Energy Market Operator generator performance standards to connect to the National Electricity Market.
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