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Wind farms in Queensland: a page of Wind in the Bush

Wind in the Bush aims to be the most informative, comprehensive, and up-to-date pages on Australian wind power and wind farms. The author is not beholden to any company, lobby group, or government. *

This page created 2008/03/10, modified 2018/06/12
Information about wind farms that I have missed, additional interesting information,
or corrections for anything that I have got wrong, would be greatly appreciated; please give evidence.
About these pages
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

Contents of this page...

Specific wind farms...
Archer Point | Clarke Creek | Coopers Gap | Crows Nest | Forsayth | High Road | Kaban | Kennedy/Hughenden | Lakeland
Mount Emerald | Rabbit Ridge | Thursday Island | Windy Hill

Other proposed wind farms | Index | (Off this page: Locations on Google Maps)

Using this page: some hints

This and most other pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are set out like reference books. There is a contents list at the top of each page and at least one index at the bottom of the page. Use these to find the subject you want, or use CTRL F (Command F with Apple) to find words or phrases that interest you. You can also Google search all of Ramblings. All the main pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are listed at the top left of the Wind Home page and each of the states' pages.

Introduction

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world today; wind generated electricity is one of a number of ways that we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity and therefore reduce our greenhouse gas production and limit climate change.

Development of renewables and influence of government

 
As of June 2018 the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy had an excellent and highly interactive Internet page showing the locations, status and size of all the state's power generation stations.

This should serve as an example to all Australian states and territories.

In mid 2014, apart from small installations in remote locations, there was only 12MW of operating wind power in Queensland, by far the least of any Australian state; and there were no wind farms under construction. (South Australia had more than 100 times the wind power of Queensland.) That 12MW, at Windy Hill, was one of the earliest wind farms in Australia, completed in the year 2000. While take-up of solar PV on homes and businesses in Queensland had been the highest in the nation, there was very little action on larger scale solar and none on wind power.

This all changed when the Labor Palaszczuk government replaced the Newman Liberal-National government in February 2015. Since that time Queensland has been among the most progressive states in large-scale renewable energy development. (As mentioned elsewhere on these pages Liberal governments in Australia are typically opposed to action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.) The Palaszczuk government has legislated for a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

Request for corrections and updates

I will be pleased to hear from any reader who believes that anything in any of these pages is incorrect or substantially incomplete. Please send details, with appropriate references, to the email address above. Any suggestions on how these pages can be more informative will also be appreciated.




 
Updated 2010/11/03

Archer Point Wind Farm

Alternatively called Jalunji Wind Park or Cooktown Wind Farm

This project is proposed by a consortium of IFE Engineering and Wind Power, Queensland (WPQ). WPQ's managing director, Lloyd Stumer, said that it is the best place in Queensland for a wind farm. It is intended to be built on a 2300ha site about 15km south of Cooktown.

Summary data for Archer Point Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed40280 UnknownApprox. S 15.58°E 145.31°

Lloyd Stumer has told me (email, 2010/12/16) that WPQ has always been fully aware of the need for a significant grid upgrade and the need for a barge landing facility (not a port) to get the turbines in place. WPQ has been in discussions with all the relevant stakeholders (including all Government departments) for many years concerning these requirements.
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Updated 2018/06/12

Mount Emerald Wind Farm

Also known as Mareeba or Arriga Wind Farm

 

News 2018/06/12

The Cairns Post reported that construction was half completed.
The wind farm was approved by the Queensland Government in late April 2015 and by the Federal Government in late November 2015.

This project is proposed by Ratch Australia Corp. and Port Bajool Pty Ltd. It is being built "on the plateau adjacent to the Mount Emerald/Springmount area, approximately half way between Mareeba and Atherton, 5km west of Walkamin." It will be about 50km south-west of Cairns.

I was informed that the Arriga site is "ideal ... with a long unobstructed fetch and constant winds" and that it is on private land. Another informant implied that the site was far from ideal and that "There are about 80 residents living under 2km from proposed turbines".

Summary data for Mount Emerald Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction startedCompletion expectedLat.Long.
Under construction533.3 and 3.45180.5 April 2017??Approx. S 17.18°E 145.38°
I inquired about the expected completion date on 2018/01/24

Thirty seven 3.45MW turbines will have 117m diameter rotor on a 90m tower; sixteen 3.3MW turbines will have 112m diameter rotor on an 84m tower.

AusPoll conducted a survey of community attitudes to the wind farm in March 2012 and found strong support for it and for wind power generally.

Contacts for Port Bajool PL are: Wendy Morris, mobile phone 0418 717 280, and John Morris, 0438 988 023.

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This section written 2018/06/06

Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm

The proponents, Lacour Energy, have a not very informative and apparently not very up to date Web page. It states that the solar component is to be 200 MW.

ABC News posted a piece about the project, written by Megan Hendry and Jacquie Mackay on 2018/06/06, in particular that it had been approved by the Queensland government.

According to the ABC piece Lacour Energy have plans to establish and $200,000 (per year?) community benefit fund.

Summary data, Clarke Creek Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date
Approved1954.1?800?2019





 
Updated 2018/02/22

Coopers Gap Wind Farm

Also known as Dalby Wind Farm

 
News; January 2018
ABC online news reported turning of the first sod on 2018/02/08.

News; August 2017
AGL contracted with PARF to buy the electricity from Coopers Gap Wind Farm for five years for 'less than $60/MWh' in August 2017.

News; March 2017
AGL's Environmental Impact Statement was approved on 2017/03/02.

Windy Hill Wind Farm was built in Queensland in the year 2000. While some 60 wind farms were built elsewhere in Australia in the next seventeen years, none were built in Queensland until 2017.

Following an email inquiry to AGL I was informed that:

"Some initial earthworks for the substation will be starting in September 2017, but the proper wind farm works won't start until January 2018."
Originally proposed by Investec Bank, this project was aquired by AGL (who have a Net page on the project) in December 2008. GE also has a page on the project.

It is being built on a 12 000ha site about 180km north-west of Brisbane near Cooranga North, between Dalby and Kingaroy. A map is available from AGL's Web site.

Summary data for Coopers Gap Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachSubtotal MWTotal MW Construction dateCompletion expectedLat.Long.
Under construction913.6327.6453January 2018June 2019Approx. S 26.74°E 151.39°
323.8121.6
The two subtotals do not add up to the total. A minor mystery.

The ABC on-line news reported that Mayor of Dalby Regional Council said that the landholders would be paid $10 000 per turbine per year. The Queensland Sunday Mail carried an article on 2011/04/03 that gave a figure of "up to $6000 a year per turbine".
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Updated 2011/02/08

Crows Nest Wind Farm

Allco Financial Services proposed that this wind farm be built 40km north of Toowoomba. Rights to the project were acquired by AGL Energy Limited not long before Allco called in administators in November 2008. The farm will cover a ridgeline area of approximately 1000ha.


Summary data for Crows Nest Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Approved752.1?158? UnknownApprox. S 27.23°E 151.96°


It was reported by Louise O'Keeffe in The Chronicle, 2009/01/08, that "AGL is continuing to develop the project". Another article in The Chronicle (Stuart Cumming, 2011/02/02) stated that "although a development application had lapsed, there were plans for it to be resubmitted".

On 2009/06/18 AGL announced that they had bought the rights "to develop a smaller wind farm in Queensland which would allow AGL to expand its existing wind farm development at Crows Nest near Toowoomba, by 20 turbines. This would increase the potential capacity of Crow's Nest to approximately 200MW".

Summary data for Crows Nest stage 2
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction date
Proposed202.1?42? Unknown

It is possible that the Transfield development that AGL bought to extend Crows Nest is Crediton or High Road Wind Farm.

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Updated 2016/02/25

Forsayth Wind Farm

Proposed by Infigen this project has been given in-principle support by the local council. The wind farm is proposed to be built on the Sirron Cattle Station between Forsayth and Mt Surprise. There were no objections to the project. (Reported in the Cairns Post on 2012/10/31.)

In late February 2016 it was reported that the wind farm had been shortlisted on Ergon Energy's tender and that if it won the tender construction could begin mid-year.

Summary data, Forsayth Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed302.575 UndecidedApprox. S ?°E ?°

Additional data on Forsayth Wind Farm
Owner/operatorInfigen
Project costAus$250 million
Tower height120m
Blade length60m





 
Map
Image credit Transfield
 
Updated 2012/11/25

High Road Wind Farm

Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund did own this wind farm, but they were taken over by Ratch Australia Corporation (80% owned by Thai power company and 20% owned by Transfield Services). Transfield's Net pages on what used to be its wind farms are no more.

It is proposed that the farm will be in the Evelyn area, about 10km north of Ravenshoe and 25km south of Atherton in North Queensland and it is expected to cost around $90 million. On the map the wind farm will be where Evelyn is shown and extend above that on the left side of the Kennedy Highway (brown on the map) and across to the green area.

Transfield Services acquired the High Road Wind Farm from Stanwell Corporation in December 2007. Stanwell Corporation undertook a thorough site suitability assessment to identify a preferred location for the proposed wind farm. The High Road site was chosen because of:

  • Excellent wind resource;
  • Proximity to an established electricity grid;
  • Positive environmental factors; and
  • Local community support.
Transfield are studying: flora and fauna, noise and visual impacts, cultural heritage implications, traffic, aeronautical and telecommunications implications.

This seems to indicate a serious commitment to the project.

Transfield expect the wind farm to operate for 20 to 30 years and say that if and when it is decommissioned the site will be returned to its original land use.

Summary data, High Road Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Approved172.237.4Unknown S 17.48°E 145.46°
Approved by Tablelands Regional Council June 2011, but

On 2012/02/08 I received the following from someone who wishes not to be named:

"In the current layout, the wind farm is unable to comply with Queensland noise legislation and the development is at a stalemate (the developer attempting to negotiate more lenient noise conditions and the Council unable to comply for obvious legal reasons). It is noted that at least 6 residences are located under 1000m from turbines, with one family (non-host) only 470 metres away from proposed turbines. It's not surprising then that the developer cannot comply."
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This section added 2018/05/22

Kaban Green Power Hub

In May 2018 French renewable energy company Neoen received approval for a big wind farm and battery to be built 80km southwest of Cairns and 6km northwest of the town of Ravenshoe. Neoen has a net page about the project.

Giles Parkinson wrote a piece about it for RenewEconomy on 2018/05/21. He reported that the turbines could be 5.5 MW each; the previous record turbine capacity in Australia was the 3.8 MW turbines being installed at Coopers Gap WF.

Neoen have committed to providing a community fund, but have not yet placed a figure on it.

The project is expected to have a life of 25 to 30 years.

Summary data, Kaban Green Power Hub
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MWBatteryConstruction date
Approved29Up to 5.5Up to 16020MW, 34MWhUndecided

Additional data on Kaban Green Power Hub
Owner/operatorNeoen
Project costAus$300 million
Expected annual generation376 GWh
Total turbine height (to blade tip)Up to 240 m

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Altered 2018/02/22

Kennedy Energy Park

Also known as Hughenden Wind Farm or Kennedy Wind Farm

 
This was originally to be a major part of a big renewable energy initiative called the Copper String, an ambitious project linking wind and solar resources with outback towns. Copper String was shelved due to a change of government from Labor to Liberal-National.
This project, that combines wind power, solar power and battery storage, has been proposed by WindLab, who have a Net page about it. If built it will be on the Great Dividing Range 17km south-east of Hughenden and about 290km SW of Townsville.

In an article in RenewEconomy written by Sophie Vorrath 2017/08/18, it was stated that Windlab had raised $50 million in an initial public offer and that would allow building the first 60 MW stage of the project.

As of July 2015 it was intended that the wind farm would be combined with a solar PV power station of up to 650MW.

Summary data for Kennedy Energy Park
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dateLat.Long.
Proposed??1200 First stage late 2018Approx. S 20.98°E 144.30°

Summary data for Kennedy Energy Park first stage
StatusWind powerSolar powerTotal renewable energy Battery storageConstruction dateCompletion
Under construction43.2 MW15 MW56 MW2 MW December 2017Late 2018
Windlab are calling the first stage a "proof-of-concept".
There will be 12 turbines each of 3.6 MW in the first stage.
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This section written 2018/02/22

Lakeland Wind Farm

WindLab have a not very informative Web page about the project which is to be built 60 km south west of Cooktown.

On 2018/02/07 I emailed asking Windlab for the exact number of turbines, exact total MW, likely date for construction and likely date of completion. I received a reply from Joshua Petrass, Project Manager. He informed me that 30 turbines had been approved, but their size had not yet been settled, and he gave me the expected dates for construction and completion shown below. Thank you Joshua.

Sophie Vorrath wrote a piece for RenewEconomy on 2018/02/07 announcing that approval had been granted for the project – and giving little other information.

Summary data, Lakeland Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateCompletion dateLat.Long.
Approved30 approved?About 100Mid-late 2018?Mid-late 2019?Approx. S 15.85°E 144.85°





 
This section written 2018/02/21

Rabbit Ridge Wind Farm

This small wind farm is proposed to be north of Pozieres in south-eastern Queensland about 150km SSW of Gold Coast. The township of Dalveen has also been mentioned in relation to this project. An article dated 2018/02/20 in the Warwick Daily News mentioned eight turbines. It also mentioned that the project was expected to cost $40 million and that it had been approved by December 2016.

A net site devoted to the project mentioned "over 11Mw [11MW] being produced" by the project on completion. This site also mentioned that the project was to include a solar component.

I'd have to say that the available information is sketchy.

Summary data, Rabbit Ridge Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Approved8??11? UndecidedVery approx. S 28.45°E 151.87°





Thursday Island Wind Farm

Thursday Island is in the Torres Strait.
On some maps it will be named Prince of Wales Island.


Summary data on Thursday Island
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating20.2250.450 1997S 10.58°E 142.22°


The turbines were manufactured by Vestas Wind Systems.





 
Edited 2013/06/16

Windy Hill Wind Farm

This wind farm is near Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands. Previously owned by Stanwell Corporation, then Transfield Infrastructure Fund; it is now owned by Ratch Australia Corp. (Ratch is 80% owned by Thai power company and 20% owned by Transfield Services.)

On 2012/08/02 Tony Stickey wrote an article in the Cairns Post stating the the wind farm operator was facing legal action over noise and might have to close down three turbines overnight.

The net pages on TIF and Transfield's page on Windy Hill Wind Farm are no more.



Summary data on Windy Hill
Status# TurbinesManufacturerModelMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating20EnerconE400.612 2000S 17.59°E 145.53°


Further information on Windy Hill
From PowerCorp, who designed and constructed the wind farm
TurbinesEnercon E-40
Blade length22m
Tower height44m
Tower constructionTubular steel, 2 sections
Project valueAus$20 million
Windy Hill
Photo thanks to Wayne Roddom, Darwin
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Other proposed wind farms

In addition to the wind farms detailed above many others have been proposed (table below).

If and when any of these proposed wind farms look likely to be built, and as I get more information, I will write them up in more detail. If any readers have information concerning these I would appreciate a note, my email address is at the top of this page.

Until a wind farm gets at least to the point where an application for approval has been submitted to the relevant authority it may be little more than wishfull thinking and is not worth covering in more detail than that below.



Wind farms that have been proposed in Queensland

Some of the information in this table was extracted from Wikipedia, some from ABARE, some from the Net generally.

In alphabetical order
Project nameSponsoring CompanyCapacity, MWStatus
Bowen Ratch-Australia Corporation??
Coconut Island Ergon Energy0.01Decommisioned
CoowongaEarth Energy 0.02Feasibility
Crediton Ratch-Australia Corporation 30Proposed
North Stradbroke IslandStanwell or Transfield?15Proposed
Rock Road (south of Atherton) DP Energy (Ireland)?Feasibility
Tolga (7km north of Atherton) Tolga Wind Farm40-50Feasibility
Windy Hill stage 2 Ratch-Australia Corporation ?Proposed
For links to developers see Wind farm businesses





Index


Home
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On this page...
Arriga Wind Farm
Archer Point Wind Farm
Bowen Wind Farm
Clarke Creek Wind Farm
Coconut Island Wind Farm
Contents
Cooktown Wind Farm
Coopers Gap Wind Farm
Coowonga Wind Farm
Crediton Wind Farm
Crows Nest Wind Farm
Dalby Wind Farm
Forsayth Wind Farm
High Road Wind Farm
Hughenden Wind Farm
Kaban Green Power Hub
Kennedy Energy Park
Lakeland Wind Farm
Mareeba Wind Farm
Mount Emerald Wind Farm
North Stradbroke Island Wind Farm
Other proposed wind farms
Rabbit Ridge Wind Farm
Thursday Island Wind Farm
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Windy Hill Wind Farm
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