Billion dollar wind venture on the cards for Queensland

Queensland is on the verge of entering one of its biggest renewable energy deals to date, in a potential joint-venture worth nearly $1 billion to the economy.

The state owned Ergon Energy has offered a power purchase agreement (PPA) to the Mount Emerald Wind Farm, a joint venture between Ratch Australia and Port Bajool. If executed, the offer would secure 170MW of renewable energy for the state’s north.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said this was a great way of diversifying the Tablelands’ economy.

“In terms of investment and economic activity, the projections are for more $400 million in total expenditure in the region over the two-year construction and 25-year life of the project,” Mr Pitt said.

“When you take into account all the indirect flow-on benefits over the same period this project is worth more than $900 million to the Far North.

Queensland has only 12MW of installed energy, and this project would increase the state’s wind production 15 times – enough power to generate a city the size of Mackay.

The proponent of Mount Emerald Wind Farm has advised that during the construction phase employment will peak at more than 150 jobs.

In terms of investment and economic activity, the projections are for more $400 million in total expenditure in the region over the two-year construction and 25-year life of the project; with more than $900 million when all indirect flow-on impacts are taken into account over the same period.

The government has committed to establishing a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

A report into the renewable sector in Queensland found that big scale wind projects, which benefit the most from the federal government’s Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target were currently lacking in Queensland, with Victoria and South Australia so far attracting the bulk of the investment.