Feb 22, 2020

State approval for $2b Forest Wind energy project

State approval for $2b Forest Wind energy project

The State Government has granted development approval for a $2 billion wind farm in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

Forest Wind would comprise up to 226 turbines and have the capacity to generate up to 1200 megawatts of electricity.

The project could create about 440 jobs during construction and a further 50 full-time jobs during operation if it proceeds, according to State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick.

“This is a major clean energy project for Queensland and will contribute to our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030,” Mr Dick said.

“Forest Wind has the potential to generate up to 1200 megawatts of electricity at capacity, which is enough to supply one in four Queensland homes. This is enough power for all homes across the Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast combined.”

Construction is proposed to start between late 2020 and 2022 and the first stage of the project is expected to be operational by late 2023.

Pine forest location

The project site is on a pine plantation within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough.

Forest Wind Holdings chairman James Pennay said the project’s location had been carefully selected to take advantage of the plantation’s large working environment.

“We have established a 3km separation distance from residents to wind turbines to ensure industry, the local community and the environment can coexist harmoniously,” Mr Pennay said.

“We have been undertaking consultation with the local community and stakeholders and we are looking forward to continuing that engagement through the next phase of the project’s development, including with the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi first nation peoples.”

Mr Dick said the project was being advanced as an Exclusive Transaction by the Queensland Government’s Investment Facilitation and Partnerships Group within the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

“This group aims to provide a clear entry point for major investment projects and a customised and streamlined pathway to decision-makers across government,” he said.