Stage One of the Clarke Creek Wind, Solar and Battery Farm is now under construction, making it the biggest grid connected renewable energy project underway in Australia.
Stage One and Two will produce enough wind, solar and battery energy to power more than 660,000 homes, equivalent to 40 per cent of Queensland households, and will export lower cost electricity directly into the National Electricity Market, directly lowering power prices for millions of Queensland households and businesses.The Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm project is located 150 km north west of Rockhampton and 150km south of Mackay in the Isaac Shire and Livingstone Shire areas.
Clarke Creek represents an excellent combination of strong and predominantly night-time wind energy generation to complement Queensland solar production.
A significant amount of technical and environmental assessment work was completed by independent specialists over several years to help design the project and prepare the state and federal applications.
These applications were assessed by state and federal regulators and the project has received all required state and federal government approvals.
The wind farm received development approval in May 2018 and federal EPBC approval in November 2018. The solar farm received development approval in February 2018.
The first stage of the project is planned to include 100 wind turbines exporting 450MW of electricity into the national electricity grid.
Various environmental management plans will be published once they have been approved by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).
Clarke Creek will not only harness the renewable power of the wind and sun to energise our homes, our factories and our cities, it is also as a critical step towards breaking our reliance on fossil fuels.
Climate change is the single greatest threat to our existence, and we must meet this global challenge with tenacity and speed.
This announcement is a signal that Australia is prepared to act with purpose to realise our 100 per cent, green, renewable, zero-emissions energy future.
Once operational Clarke Creek’s grid-scale generation capability will displace 2.7 million tonnes of carbon each year and has strong alignment with the Queensland government’s integrated energy plan for the state.
The development benefits from the expertise and experience of Squadron Energy’s management and operations and is part of a wider group of Squadron Energy entities that is focused on developing and delivering new energy projects that support a more rapid decarbonisation of the economy.
The construction of the first stage of Clarke Creek wind farm will be a significant investment and take up to 3 years to fully complete. At its peak the workforce that will be involved in construction is expected to be 350 people.
It is expected that many of the jobs will be filled from the Central Queensland region, and a temporary accommodation camp is planned during the construction phase, with significant opportunities for locally based businesses to provide services. Please see the local business participation program for details on how to register your interest.
Once the first stage is operational, there will be around 20-25 permanent staff and these staff will live in the wider area and commute daily from their homes. It is not intended to house remote workers at the wind farm.
The wind and solar resource measurements we have taken indicate that the wind is strongest overnight, while the solar power output will be during the day. The combination of wind and solar power is therefore very complimentary.
During the three year construction period on stage 1, approximately $50-$100 million is expected to be injected into local economy and approximately $350 Million regionally. This will be through direct industry participation and employment as well as secondary industry participation through accommodation and service providers etc.
The project also has strong alignment with the Queensland government integrated energy plan for the state in terms of:
The Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm is committed to building and maintaining relationships with the local community. The project team aims to keep an open dialogue with the local residents, stakeholders and the wider community to ensure successful exchange of information, consultation and engagement.
The Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm aims to be an active member of the local community by supporting local initiatives and events.
A community fund of $200,000 each year will run for the life of the project. The fund will commence once the project starts construction.
The aim of the community fund will be to provide funds to enhance and enrich community initiatives throughout the local community.
Funding applications will be considered from all sectors, including but not limited to public health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability, skills and education (including scholarships), recreation and cultural activities.
Applications will be evaluated by the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), or a sub-committee, who will determine how best to distribute the funds.