THE Queensland Government last week announced approval for the $200 million Lakeland Wind Farm in Far North Queensland, which will generate enough power to supply more than 50,000 homes and create approximately 200 jobs during construction.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said the proposed development by Windlab Limited involves 30 wind turbines and ancillary infrastructure and will take almost a year to construct.
"The farm will produce around 100 megawatts of power for North Queensland, connected via the national electricity grid," Mr Dick said.
"Windlab have worked closely with my department and the local community to ensure that any impacts of the development on neighbours are mitigated.
"This includes bringing the original proposal from 35 turbines to 30 and ensuring the development operates within the conditions my department has set."
Lakeland Wind Farm is located 8.5 kilometres north-west of the Lakeland township in Cook Shire, and approximately 60 kilometres south west of Cooktown.
The wind farm will operate for at least 25 years and generate enough power to supply more than 50,000 homes – similar to the number of households in Cook Shire, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Region, and northern Cairns suburbs combined.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said ongoing private sector investment, like Windlab's, was concrete endorsement of Queensland's renewable energy policy.
"Our 50 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030 has encouraged an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment in around two dozen large-scale projects that are currently financially committed to or under construction right across the state," he said.
"When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland's renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power around 987,000 homes."
Meanwhile, construction is now officially under way on Australia's largest wind farm on Queensland's Darling Downs, with the first sod turned on the almost $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which is midway between Kingaroy and Dalby.
The 453-megawatt wind farm is about 250 kilometres west of Brisbane and will produce approximately 1,510,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, which is enough to power more than 260,000 average Australian homes when fully operational in mid-2019.
Work has already started to connect the wind farm to the grid. Queensland's high voltage transmission provider, Powerlink, is building a new 275kV substation at Cooranga North, which is due to be commissioned by the end of this year.