Renewable Energy Partners launches Merrawindi wind farm project

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A burgeoning renewable energy company is hoping to expand its green power footprint in Queensland with a new $800m wind farm.

Renewable Energy Partners, which boasts a sweep of wind, solar and pumped hydro developments across the state, wants to implant a further 48 wind turbines in a 300MW farm about 230km west of Brisbane.

If approved, the farm could power up to 180,000 homes, the company states, and help the state government achieve its ambitious target to hit 70 per cent renewable power generation by 2032.

The Merrawindi wind farm would be located adjacent to the coal-fired Millmerran power plant near Toowoomba and the company said the site was chosen for its “excellent wind resource, proximity to Powerlink’s high-voltage transmission network, strong local community support and the availability of a local, highly skilled workforce”.

“We think it’s a great project and we just now have to go through the usual development steps,” REP chief executive Luke McDonald told NCA NewsWire on Thursday.

“It’s got good grid, good wind resources.

“In our view, it ticks all the boxes of the aspects you’re looking for in developing a project through to construction.”

The company has begun internal environmental assessments but has not submitted any applications to the state or federal governments.

Mr McDonald said he expected to lodge applications for the farm in mid 2025 with a target operational date of 2028.

“Queensland is a fantastic place to develop renewable energy projects, given the strong support of the Queensland government through its Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan under the leadership of (Energy) Minister De Brenni,” he said in a release announcing Merrawindi.

“As a proud Queensland-based company, REP is excited to be playing its part in the energy transition here in Queensland”.

The government is spending $62bn to reconfigure the state’s energy system and move it onto a renewables base.

Mr de Brenni, speaking with business leaders in Mackay in 2022 following the release of the plan, said the shift would help businesses inoculate themselves from global price shocks while also addressing climate change concerns.

“(The plan will) Decouple our state, the businesses, those big electricity users, from those global price shocks. We need to move to a fuel system that is based on fuel that Queenslanders own and one that is low emissions as well,” he said.

Alongside Merrawindi, REP is pursuing wind farms in Proserpine in North Queensland and in the Tarong and Wandoan areas of the southeast.

It is also developing a $6.5bn energy project west of Mackay called the Capricornia Energy Hub.

The hub, which is backed by global clean energy investment fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, would implant a 750MW pumped hydro plant, a 500MW wind farm and a solar farm.

Mr McDonald said geotechnical work had begun on the pumped hydro component’s lower reservoir.

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