More work to be done on Coopers Gap Wind Farm

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) is progressing development activities at its Coopers Gap Wind Farm in southern Queensland.

Project manager Neil Cooke said Coopers Gap Wind Farm is a high quality wind resource, with possibly the highest average wind speeds in the state. However, there is still a long way to go before a decision can be made on whether the project proceeds, with Mr Cooke saying revised Initial Assessment Report (IAR) is an important first step.

“AGL is looking to develop more large-scale renewables as shown by our recent launch of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). The Fund is an innovative financing vehicle that we are establishing to help facilitate the development of new, large-scale renewable generation projects. We also hope it will assist us in getting the Coopers Gap Wind Farm project over the line,” Mr Cooke said.

The PARF aims to attract up to $3 billion from institutional investors to support 1000MW of renewable generation, which represents about 20 per cent of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

“The political and economic environment has changed dramatically in recent times, especially around climate change. The agreement by nations in Paris at COP21 to continue to work towards limiting climate change to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times will require the development of many new renewable projects. With this in mind AGL is submitting a revised IAR to the Queensland Department of Planning and Environment,” Mr Cooke said.

“We expect to have our revised IAR ready for submission within the next few months. A public submissions period would follow this. AGL would then address submissions and prepare a Revised Assessment Report.”

The Coopers Gap Wind Farm is initially proposed to have a capacity of up to 350MW, which would produce approximately 1100 GWh of renewable energy, powering more than 190,000 average Australian homes. The renewable energy produced will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 860,000 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking more than 250,000 cars off the road each year.