Site approved for 1GW-plus Australian hybrid

AUSTRALIA: The Queensland government has granted development approval for Lacour Energy's 195-turbine Clarke Creek project, which has the potential to be the largest wind farm in the country.

The future site of Lacour's Clarke Creek hybrid project in Queensland (pic credit: Lacour Energy)
The future site of Lacour's Clarke Creek hybrid project in Queensland (pic credit: Lacour Energy)

Clarke Creek, which is currently in its final feasibility stages, will have a capacity of more than 800MW.

The developer will also include an up-to 400MW solar farm and an unspecified battery storage facility at the site near Queensland’s west-central coast. Construction is due to begin early next year, Lacour stated.

It received approval for the solar component of the project  from Isaac Regional Council earlier this year.

Lacour has not yet specified a preferred turbine supplier for Clarke Creek, but it is set to use 4MW+ turbines.

The site runs adjacent to transmission system operator Powerlink’s existing 275kV transmission network, the developer stated.

Each year, the entire Clarke Creek facility will generate renewable electricity equivalent to about 3% of Queensland’s electricity demand, Lacour claimed.

Queensland aims to source 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. In June 2017 the state announced it would invest A$1.16 billion ($875 million) towards improving its energy system.

To date, it has just two small wind farms in operation, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

But the state has approved Windlab's plans for an up-to-1.2GW hybrid wind-solar-storage plant, AGL’s plans for the 115-turbine, 453MW Cooper’s Gap site; and Neoen’s Kaban Green Power Hub, which could have a wind capacity of up to 160MW and battery storage up to 100MW.

As of 1 June, Australia had just over 4.5GW of installed wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence. Its largest operational wind farm is the 420MW Macarthur project in Victoria.

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