Around 400 construction jobs and work for 35 ongoing will be generated from early 2020 when Queensland builds a $450 million renewable energy project.
Fifty-six wind turbines have been approved by the state government to be installed at the Renewable Energy Systems project site at Dulacca, 250 km north-west of Toowoomba.
The Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said the wind farm will produce about 240 megawatts of power for the Western Downs.
He said the project plan involved economic diversification of the area and to stimulate job growth during construction and operation of the site. In addition to the turbines the development will include associated infrastructure such as a sub-station, meteorology masts, overhead lines and access tracks.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham revealed the project is part of the push towards achieving a 50% renewables target by 2030. It comes in the wake of the $217 million Darling Downs solar farm and the $48 million Baking Board solar farm at Chinchilla in the state's west. He said there are another five south-west renewable energy projects that have been committed to or are underway.
Renewable Energy Systems' development project manager, Llion Parry, said the wind farm is expected to be fully operational by 2021. The Queensland Government said the state has a range of renewable energy resources – solar, wind and geothermal - it intends to exploit.
"With recent growth in the industry, Queensland is becoming Australia's premier location for renewable energy manufacturing and generation."
The government also said the state's research and development institutes and initiatives are focusing on the development of the renewable energy sector. These include the Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (UQ); Queensland Solar Research Consortium; Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology; CPV Research for Hot Climates (JCU); Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence; Coastal Geothermal Energy Initiative; and ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials.