February 24 (Renewables Now) - The Aussie state of Queensland has given the thumbs up to a project that will enable the construction of one of the largest grid-connected wind farms in the southern hemisphere -- an up to 1.2 GW complex in a state pine forest.
The government permission was awarded last week, according to an official statement released on Saturday. The project, calling for an investment of around AUD 2 billion (USD 1.32bn/EUR 1.22bn), was proposed by Forest Wind Holdings.
The Forest Wind farm, as it is named, will be powered by up to 226 turbines that will be installed on state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough, in the Wide Bay-Burnett region. Subject to final consideration and the completion of all contractual agreements, its construction could begin as early as the last quarter of 2020. The first phase will become operational by late 2023, the project website says.
If the project goes ahead, the scheme is expected to open around 440 jobs during the construction phase and an additional 50 full-time positions during the power plant's operation. A wind farm of this size will lift Queensland’s installed power production capacity by around 9%, adding to its existing 5.5-GW portfolio of renewable energy plants, the government noted.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.660/EUR 0.610)