GE has commenced the 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 earlier last month. Being Australia’s largest wind farm, the Powering Australian Renewables Fund’s (PARF) development will include 123 GE wind turbines.
AGL’s general manager power development, Dave Johnson, said up to 200 jobs would be created during the peak of construction of the project, which was developed by AGL and achieved a final investment decision in August 2017.
“It is great to have Minister Lynham on hand today in the heart of the Coopers Gap community, to celebrate the benefits of this momentous project,” Johnson said.
“AGL, together with PARF, is excited about the works and we will be working closely with the GE – CATCON consortium to ensure a successful project outcome for all stakeholders.
“The wind farm will employ up to 20 people once operational which means it will continue to deliver ongoing employment benefits in the local community after the construction phase.
“The gathering today for the sod turn is an important milestone after an extensive period of planning and development.”
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,” Mr Oswald said.
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.
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,”Moreau said.
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.
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.