Wind farm near Kingaroy offers jobs, green energy

QUEENSLAND'S proposed biggest wind farm near Kingaroy is a step closer to generating clean energy and 370 jobs with its declaration today as a coordinated project.

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynhamsaid that AGL's $500 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm would now move to an environmental impact statement with public consultation.

"This project is an example of the Palaszczuk Government's focus on diversifying our economy, generating jobs of the future, and becoming a leader in renewable energy generation," Dr Lynham said.

"AGL Energy Limited has said the project could create up to 350 construction jobs and ongoing employment for up to 20 people in the region.

"Depending on the Coordinator-General's evaluation, construction could start in late 2017 and take two and half years, making it operational by 2020.

"Our strong renewable energy agenda is clearly encouraging private sector investment in renewable energy.

"If AGL proceeds, this would be one of Australia's largest green energy producers, and support our policy to generate half of Queensland's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030."

Dr Lynham said the wind farm had the potential to supply power to about 180,000 households from a proposed installed capacity of about 350MW and up to 115 wind turbines.

In Far North Queensland, Ergon Energy has already offered a 12.5 year power purchase agreement for the 170MW Mt Emerald wind farm south of Cairns.

The next stage for Coopers Gap will be the release for comment of draft terms of reference for the EIS.

"Public consultation is an integral element of the EIS process," Dr Lynham said.

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