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Work Begins on Australia's Biggest Wind Farm

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Construction on Australia’s largest wind farm began last week, ushering in part of the Queensland Labor government’s commitment to creating 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

The 453-megawatt wind farm will produce 1.5 megawatt-hours annually, reported The Urban Developer, which amounts to providing power for 260,000 homes.

Australia’s Largest Wind Farm

Located 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Brisbane, the A$850 million ($669 million) Coopers Gap Wind Farm will feature 123 wind turbines spread out over a dozen properties. The wind farm, to be constructed by AGL Energy, was first proposed 10 years ago. The company secured environmental approval for the project last year.

maveriqk, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm construction is part of Queensland Labor government’s commitment to creating 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

"Together, they represent more than 2000 megawatts of renewable energy that will help power Queensland's electricity grid and its regional economies, and help us meet our international emissions reduction commitments," said Energy Minister Anthony Lynham, during the groundbreaking ceremony.

The wind farm is slated for completion in 2019, and will create 200 jobs during construction, but after the project goes into operation, it will only create 20 full-time jobs, according to reports. In comparison to the Carmichael coal mine, which has created 800 jobs, this has raised concerns over long-term job prospects in regard to renewable energy.

“The Western Downs is fast becoming Australia’s renewable energy capital, with Coopers Gap and 10 approved solar projects,” Lynham said.

“Combined, these projects would represent more than $5 billion of investment, and more than 3000 construction jobs for the Western Downs.”

World's Largest Wind Farm

The first monopiles for the world’s largest offshore wind farm have been installed 74 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, England, marking the beginning of construction.
The project, known as Hornsea Project One and spearheaded by wind energy firm Ørsted, is slated to provide energy for over 1 million U.K. homes, totaling 1.2 gigawatts of energy output annually.
Hornsea Project One is slated for completion in 2020.


Tagged categories: Australia; Green design; Infrastructure; OC; Program/Project Management; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

Comment from Tony Rangus, (2/15/2018, 11:38 AM)

123 wind turbines and only 453 megawatts of power generation at what footprint cost? Why not build multiple gas turbine combined cycle plants using natural gas, which is abundant in Queensland. We all understand the environmental concerns but 453 megawatts in today's energy demand environment is a pittance. Base load plants are needed, not a so-so electricity supply.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (2/20/2018, 11:00 AM)

Electricity from wind power is very cheap and clean. Production costs won' t change due to fuel prices. CCNG plants need both fuel and water, but offer a relatively steady and responsive power supply. They are complementary. I will note that the annual production number in this article is pretty obviously wrong. With 453MW of turbines and decent siting, it should be producing around 1.5 TWh in an average year. The number presented is off by a factor of a million.

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