French renewable energy company Neoen has received approval to develop a $300 million wind farm at Kaban in the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland.

The Queensland Government announced on Monday that development approval had been granted for the Kaban renewable energy hub 80km south-west of Cairns.

The new hub will combine a 160MW wind farm with supporting infrastructure, including battery storage.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the wind farm project would bring substantial investment to the region and was expected to create around 150 jobs during construction.

‘The proposed development at Kaban is for a wind farm for up to 29 turbines and additional infrastructure, including a substation and battery storage facility,’ Mr Dick said.

‘This means jobs for the region over the 12-month estimated construction period and more clean energy for the region to tap into.

‘The green power hub, which will incorporate the wind farm, is a $300 million project, planned to operate for at least 30 years and generate enough power to supply 57,000 homes.’

The Kaban project is the latest of more than two dozen large-scale renewables projects currently committed or under construction throughout Queensland, including the recently announced $200 million Lakeland Wind Farm, also in the far north.

Other Queensland renewables projects with overseas investors include the Aldoga solar project near Gladstone and the Susan River and Childers solar farms in the Wide Bay–Burnett region.

The Kaban project will be the third Australian renewable energy hub for Neoen, which recently commenced construction on the Bulgana Green Power Hub in Victoria and developed the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia in 2016.

Minister Dick said the Kaban turbines would have a maximum height of 240m and environmental impacts had been considered when assessing Neoen’s proposal.

‘Neoen worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts on nearby houses, impacts on fauna, native vegetation clearing and traffic impacts,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Conditions are recommended to be imposed on the decision that will mitigate and manage acoustic, flora and fauna and traffic impacts.

‘The Queensland Government welcomes private sector investment of this kind in support of the state’s renewable energy policy.’

Developing Queensland’s renewables industry and attracting smart foreign investment are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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