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- The largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere has poured its first foundation for the record breaking MacIntyre Wind Precinct
After three months of earthworks and ground preparation, concrete has begun to pour for 180 foundations that will support some of the most powerful onshore wind turbines in the world.
When completed the MacIntyre Wind Precinct’s 180 turbines will generate 1,026MW of renewable electricity, enough power for the equivalent of 700,000 homes.
ACCIONA Energía Managing Director Brett Wickham said construction was proceeding at full steam creating nearly 700 jobs and supporting hundreds of local businesses in the process.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the local community as we build this transformational project,” said Mr Wickham.
“We’ve committed to procuring as much work as possible from local businesses so that the benefits are felt right throughout the community.”
The AUD $2 billion project is procuring $500 million in work from Queensland businesses. From earthworks, transport and accommodation to food and engineering, the project is being delivered to support as many Queensland businesses as possible.
“These major projects are vital in the regions helping to create new economic foundations that can support larger local economies and new employment opportunities for those living in the area,” said Mr Wickham.
Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the State’s energy transformation is the greatest jobs opportunity in a generation, and it was great to see progress on the project which is supporting more jobs in Queensland.
“After breaking ground on what is the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere, the pouring of the first tower foundation is more proof that renewable energy equals more jobs in regional Queensland,” Minister de Brenni said.
Queensland based Ark Energy and co-investor in the MacIntyre Wind Farm said that the site was setting the standard for renewable energy developments around the country.
“MacIntyre has set a new high bar for what renewable energy is capable of and how industry can decarbonise its supply chain,” said Ark Energy CEO Daniel Kim.
“Ark Energy will use renewable energy from the MacIntyre Wind Farm to decarbonise its zinc refinery operations in Townsville becoming one of the first major refineries in the world to produce green zinc,” said Mr Kim.
CleanCo has a power purchase agreement for 400MW of the energy to be produced at the MacIntyre Wind Farm.
CEO Tom Metcalfe says CleanCo is very excited about the MacIntyre Wind Precinct and how it will support the delivery of clean energy options for its customers.
“This very significant project, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, will be vital to CleanCo growing its renewable portfolio and supporting the Queensland Government’s net zero goals.”
The pouring of the first foundation follows on the back of the MacIntyre Wind Farm Community Morning Tea to celebrate the recipients of the 2022 Community Sponsorship recipients.
This year over $100,000 was awarded across 25 local organisations in support of projects that promote sustainable development, health and education or contribute towards addressing social disadvantage within the community.
One of this year’s recipients, the Rural Doctors Foundation were awarded $10,000 to purchase additional medihoods for local hospitals to protect healthcare workers against the spread of COVID19 and other infectious diseases.
“Rural Doctors Foundation covers rural and remote communities to help them improve their health. Thanks to the generosity of ACCIONA Energía we were able to provide Medihoods to the hospitals in Warwick and Millmerran,” said Rural Doctors Foundation Chief Executive Officer Fran Avon.
“These devices help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, which is especially important in smaller rural healthcare facilities where the absence of a doctor or nurse due to illness could mean the closure of the hospital service,” said Ms Avon.
ACCIONA Energía General Manager of Brand & Marketing, Emma Reiners said that “the annual sponsorship program provides us with a great opportunity to give back to the community.”
“Community groups are the social fabric of many regional towns, so it’s important that we support initiatives that in turn, support the broader community”.
Applications for the 2023 sponsorship program will open in February 2023.