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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 2014/06/27
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 | Coopers Gap | Crows Nest | Forsayth | High Road | Hughenden | Mount Emerald | 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 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.


Colour coding
for wind farms below
Development applic. lodged
Under construction
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.

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 has been the highest in the nation, the Queensland Government has done nothing about larger-scale solar power.

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.
Wind home

Updated 2014/01/16

Mount Emerald Wind Farm

Also known as Mareeba or Arriga Wind Farm

This project is proposed by Ratch Australia Corp. and Port Bajool Pty Ltd. (Ratch is 80% owned by Thai power company and 20% owned by Transfield Services.) If it goes ahead it will be built near Mareeba, which is 37km WSW of Cairns. (Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund did own Ratch's share of this wind farm, but they were taken over by Ratch Australia Corporation.) Transfield's Net pages on what used to be its wind farms are no more, and Ratch has not yet produced net pages.

Summary data for Mount Emerald Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Prefeasibility742.5185 UnknownApprox. S 16.99°E 145.41°
The coordinates above are those of Mareeba

I am 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".

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.

Wind home

Updated 2012/06/25

Coopers Gap Wind Farm

Also known as Dalby Wind Farm

Originally proposed by Investec Bank, this project was aquired by AGL (who have a Net page on the project) in December 2008.

If built, it will be 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.

A newsletter that AGL released in March 2011 stated that the project was currently at stage two (first public submission period) of a six-stage Community Infrastructure Designation process; it also said that an Initial Assessment Report was available from the Net site.

Summary data for Coopers Gap Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed1152 to 4Approx. 350 UnknownApprox. S -26.74°E 151.39°
The number and capacity of turbines was extracted from AGL's net site on 2011/04/05

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".
Wind home

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.

Wind home

This section written 2012/12/01

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.)

Summary data, Forsayth Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed252.5?70-80 UndecidedApprox. S ?°E ?°

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:

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."
Wind home

Altered 2012/05/11

Hughenden Wind Farm

Also known as Kennedy Wind Farm

This was a major part of a big renewable energy initiative called the Copper String project, but with Xstrata and the present government refusing to support Copper String, this wind farm seems unlikely to procede.
This farm has been proposed by WindLab, who have a Net page about it. If built it will be on the Great Dividing Range about 290km SW of Townsville. It will form an important part of a proposed Clean Energy Corridor detailed on a media release, apparently from Bob Katter (Federal Member for Kennedy), but also with Federal Minister Ferguson's name on it, dated November 2010.
"The Northern Australian Clean Energy Corridor proposal is a series of clean energy power generators to be connected by an AC transmission link from Mt Isa to Townsville – to join North West Queensland (NW Qld) to the National Grid"
In addition to the wind farm, the project will pick up power from several bio-fuel power stations, "biomass conversion power stations", a hydro and two solar power stations (one of which is combined with bio-fuel). So far as I know, all of these power projects are only proposals at the present.

In June 2011 I received information that "Leighton Contractors and CuString said their Copper String project to build a $1.5 billion, 720km high-voltage transmission link between Townsville and Mount Isa now has initial agreements with energy users, which are believed to include Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata, owner of Mount Isa Mines." The Copper String project has since been scrapped (information May 2012).

Summary data for Hughenden Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
ProposedUp to 3002.1 to 3?Up to 750 Late 2012Approx. S 20.87°E 144.21°
The coordinates above are those of the town of Hughenden

Further data on Hughenden Wind Farm
Present land usePredominantly grazing
Local Government districtFlinders Shire
AreaAbout 280 square kilometres
Project costOver Aus$1.5b
Greenhouse gas abatement expected1.9 million tonnes annually
This information came from the WindLab Net page

My thanks to Geoff Henderson for allerting me to this proposal.

The proposed Eyre Peninsula wind project in SA will similarly link a number of renewable resource areas with the national power grid.

Wind home

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
Wind home

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


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On this page...
Arriga Wind Farm
Archer Point Wind Farm
Bowen Wind Farm
Coconut Island Wind Farm
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
Kennedy Wind Farm
Mareeba Wind Farm
Mount Emerald Wind Farm
North Stradbroke Island Wind Farm
Other proposed wind farms
Thursday Island Wind Farm
Windy Hill Wind Farm
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