GE celebrated the commencement of construction of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm with a sod turning ceremony attended by Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, MP, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
Steven Oswald, Australian Country Executive for Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy, said: “This is an exciting day for the project and indeed in Australia’s ongoing transition to a cleaner, more modern energy system. It is tremendously encouraging to see this project progress, particularly at a time when we are discussing our energy future as a nation.
“I’d like to congratulate the Powering Australian Renewables Fund on their achievements to date, and look forward to seeing our 123 GE turbines start to generate renewable electricity for the people of Queensland,” he said.
GE announced in August an agreement with the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) to supply and install 123 wind turbines for the Coopers Gap Wind Farm project at Cooranga North, 250 kilometres north-west of Brisbane. PARF is a partnership between AGL Energy Limited (AGL) (20 percent) and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) (80 percent, on behalf of clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund).
Upon completion in 2019, the 453 MW wind farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually – enough to power the equivalent of more than 260,000 average Australian homes and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes each year.
The project is expected to create up to 200 jobs during the peak of construction, and an additional 20 ongoing operational jobs. The construction firm CATCON will be responsible for the wind farm’s construction.
Steve Moreau, CEO at CATCON, said: “We are pleased to be celebrating this major milestone today and acknowledge the first sod turning marks the commencement of major construction activities for CATCON on this significant Renewable Energy project.
“Our team have worked tirelessly over the last six months in the planning and preparation for the major works to commence as scheduled, and we look forward to working with the local community and our consortium partner GE to collectively deliver a first-rate renewable energy project for our client, AGL,” he said.
Coopers Gap Wind Farm is a significant project for GE. It will be the largest wind farm in the country on completion, and GE’s first wind project in Queensland. It is the second major renewables project that GE and AGL have announced in the last year, following the Silverton Wind Farm in western New South Wales.
GE will deliver 91 of its 3.6 MW turbines with 137m rotors, and 32 of its 3.8 MW turbines with 130m rotors. GE will also undertake a 25-year full service agreement to maintain the windfarm over its lifetime.