Moah Creek Wind Farm near Rockhampton—one of the projects in the Central Queensland Power (CQP) portfolio being jointly developed By RES Australia and Energy Estate—has reached two development milestones.
Firstly, it has been granted planning approval from the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA). This approval is a significant stage in the development process for the Project as it provides consent from the Queensland Government under the Planning Act 2016 for the construction of the wind farm and its associated vegetation clearing. The development application was assessed against State Code 23 (Wind Farm Development) and Code 16 (Clearing Native Vegetation).
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The project has been designed to minimise native vegetation clearing to the greatest extent possible, with the clearing of ‘of concern’ and ‘endangered’ native vegetation (as defined by the Native Vegetation Act (1999, QLD) reduced to less than 1% of the project’s total footprint. This has been achieved through 2.5 years of substantive field surveys and an iterative design process.
The second milestone is that the project has now been referred to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) for review under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Following DCCEEW’s assessment, a public comment period will be announced and notice of this will be widely communicated, including via the project’s website.
The project is expected to start construction in Q2 2025 and will deliver a range of social and economic benefits to Rockhampton and the region to include providing clean electricity sufficient to power the equivalent of over 195,000 houses, an estimated investment of approximately $1 billion, the creation of approximately 400 jobs at the peak of construction, a community fund and a Neighbour Shared Benefit scheme.
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CQP director Vincent Dwyer said, “These development milestones for the Moah Creek Wind Farm are timely given the Palaszczuk government’s recent announcement that the state-owned energy company Stanwell Corporation will be starting early works this year on its Future Energy and Innovation Training Hub (FEITH), based in Rockhampton.”
The hub will be a facility to test new renewables technologies, including wind, as well as a practical training facility to develop the skills needed to help deliver on Queensland’s Energy and Jobs Plan.