A NEW wind farm will be constructed in Far North Queensland after it received final approvals from the State Government.
The $200 million project will be constructed at Lakeland, about 60 kms south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula.
The project will include up to 30 wind turbines as well as electrical infrastructure and will produce around 100 megawatts of power for the Far North, connected via the national electricity grid.
That is enough energy to power up to 50,000 homes.
The Queensland Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning issued the development approval for the Lakeland Wind Farm to be constructed and operated by Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) - Australia’s international wind energy company this week.
Windlab Chief Executive Officer Roger Price said Windlab had worked closely with the department and local community to optimise the project design.
He said to number of possible turbine locations had been reduced from 35 to 30 to ensure the project remained viable.
The $200 million project will bring significant investment to the region and is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction. It will take about one year to construct.
Mr Price said the wind farm would 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.
“Lakeland Wind Farm is an exceptional project and we eagerly anticipate starting construction this year,” he said.
“Working with the community is always key for us.
“We are therefore particularly pleased that we found a solution that aligns neighbour plans, planning code and project requirements.”
He said construction of Kennedy Energy Park (state one) was now in full swing near near Hughenden and the development of stage two was on the way.
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.”
Cook MP Cynthia Lui said the project was a win for Far North residents, which would reap the benefits of such a project coming to life in their backyard.
“The approval of this project is a real coup for the Cape York Peninsula because we know this project means jobs and investment in our community, which will be a boost for our local economy and a win for jobseekers in the Lakeland area and surrounds,” she said.