ACCIONA to build whopping 1026MW wind farm in Qld

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ACCIONA will build its largest ever wind farm in Australia, the MacIntyre complex in Queensland, with a total capacity of 1026MW. The project will boost the Queensland Government’s decarbonisation strategy, mobilising total investments of AU$1.96 billion (€1 billion). The bulk of the investment will take place between 2022 and 2023. 

ACCIONA has reached an agreement with CleanCo, the Queensland Government’s newest renewable energy generator, for it to become the independent owner and operator of a 100MW wind farm within the MacIntyre complex. In addition, CleanCo will acquire the annual production of 400MW from ACCIONA’s facilities for 10 years through a power purchase agreement (PPA). 

ACCIONA is negotiating additional supply agreements with private clients as well as the possible involvement of other offtaker-investor partners for its 926MW in the MacIntyre complex. 

The project is scheduled to begin construction in mid-2021, with a gradual start-up in phases to ensure connection to the grid for the state’s electricity system, while optimizing the return on investment. Some 64 km of transmission lines will be laid to connect the wind complex to the grid. The entire MacIntyre complex is scheduled to be fully operational in 2024. 

MacIntyre’s 1026MW capacity will generate clean electricity to power about 700,000 homes and avoid the emission of nearly three million tonnes of CO2 per year. By greening Queensland’s electricity mix, the MacIntyre wind complex will help the state meet its decarbonisation commitments and climate change mitigation strategies. The scale of the MacIntyre project makes it one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world today. 

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The complex will consist of 180 Nordex Group’s Delta4000 turbines, each with a capacity of up to 5.7MW, which are the latest generation of turbines launched by the German manufacturer. 

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said, “For the next few months, the entire focus of the Queensland Government is on protecting Queenslanders’ health, Queensland jobs and Queensland businesses.

“But when we move into the recovery phase, we need shovel-ready projects that will support more jobs in more industries, especially in regional Queensland.

“This is what CleanCo is all about–building, owning and operating a wind farm of 18 turbines with the capacity to generate up to 100 megawatts of new renewable energy.

“On behalf of Queenslanders, CleanCo will also buy another 400 megawatts of new renewable energy from ACCIONA.

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“CleanCo’s involvement in the MacIntyre Precinct has nearly doubled the size and capacity of the wind farm, with Queenslanders set to benefit from the addition of more than one gigawatt of new renewable energy to our electricity network—the equivalent to powering almost 700,000 homes.”

Minister for Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the project would mean jobs and business opportunities across the Southern Downs and Darling Downs.

“As one of the largest onshore wind farms in the southern hemisphere, the MacIntyre Precinct will have far reaching and long lasting social and economic benefits locally, and for the whole state,” Dr Lynham said.

“The local spend on the Downs is forecast to be more than $500 million during construction.

“That’s jobs and business flowing into the south west from later this year when early works start.

“State-owned Powerlink has already commenced working on the connection of the project to the grid, which on its own will support up to 240 jobs,” he said.