Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest has unveiled plans for a $3 billion wind, photo voltaic and battery storage hub in central Queensland in a moved that he says will create the most important renewable vitality precinct within the south hemisphere.
Forrest says his privately owned Squadron Power has purchased the Clarke Creek wind and photo voltaic mission from Goldwind, and can start building instantly on the primary 450MW wind stage of mission, which already has a provide take care of Stanwell Power for many of its output.
Nonetheless, Forrest says he’s eager to start out on stage 2 of the mission as quickly as doable, which is able to ship “properly over” 1GW of wind and photo voltaic, plus an unspecified quantity of battery storage.
The output is predicted to be feed into the grid, however may be funnelled in the direction of the varied inexperienced hydrogen and inexperienced ammonia initiatives Forrest has within the pipeline, together with the brand new 2GW hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing unit that is also about to begin construction, according to an announcement on Sunday.
Squadron is one in all a variety of personal autos held by Forrest, and consists of his curiosity within the Solar Cable photo voltaic and battery mission within the Northern Territory, together with tech billionaire Mike Cannon Brookes, and the previous listed renewable vitality developer Windlab.
Goldwind has previously flagged that Clarke Creek could hold 800MW of wind, upon to 400MW of solar, as well as a big battery. Nonetheless, Squadron says they had been greater than 1GW of wind, an unspecified quantity of photo voltaic, and as much as 2GWh of battery storage, which might be the most important in the principle grid.
Forrest mentioned there shall be even greater initiatives within the pipeline, and his Fortescue Metals has already flagged a 5GW wind and photo voltaic and battery mission within the Pilbara to energy its iron ore amenities and native manufacturing.
“We’ve got commenced building of what would be the largest renewable vitality precinct within the southern hemisphere – however I’m delighted to say that we are going to not maintain this file for lengthy,with different renewable vitality initiatives underneath growth that may surpass our mission in scale,” Forrest mentioned in an announcement.
“We intend to convey on different initiatives which shall be bigger than in the present day’s file.” (Really, there are in all probability different initiatives that already compete for that title, together with Neoen’s Goyder South mission in South Australia, however so long as none have been accomplished, then the title is up for claiming).
“We’re investing in Clarke Creek not solely to harness the renewable energy of the wind and solar to energise our properties, our factories and our cities, however as a vital step in the direction of breaking our reliance on fossil fuels.
“Local weather change is the one biggest risk to our existence, and we should meet this international problem with tenacity and velocity. This announcement is a sign that Australia is ready to behave with objective to understand our 100 per cent, inexperienced, renewable, zero-emissions vitality future.”
Squadron says the mission might produce sufficient wind, photo voltaic and battery vitality to energy greater than 660,000 properties, equal to 40 per cent of Queensland households, and can export decrease price electrical energy straight into the Nationwide Electrical energy Market.
“On account of its mixture of photo voltaic, wind and battery applied sciences, it is going to assist straight decrease energy costs for hundreds of thousands of Queensland households and companies,” it mentioned.
Squadron expects stage one of many Clarke’s Creek mission – situated round 150kms north-west of Rockhamption – to be totally operational in 2024, and stage two might come on-line in 2026.
“The Clarke Creek wind and photo voltaic farm will help regional jobs throughout building,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk mentioned in an announcement.
“Delivering such an enormous renewable vitality increase takes Queensland nearer to reaching our targets of fifty per cent renewable vitality by 2030 and web zero emissions by 2050.”
Stanwell has previously announced a 346.5MW power purchase agreement for Clarke Creek.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and can also be the founding father of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of the EV-focused The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 40 years and is a former enterprise and deputy editor of the Australian Monetary Overview.