Jobs are waiting in wind
THE windy ranges 20km west of Biloela could be home to a large wind farm project worth up to $350 million and delivering 150 jobs for the region.
Lacour Energy came to town on Tuesday to reveal their plans at the Civic Centre.
Company representatives were there to explain more about the project which is now in its final stages after a two-and-a-half year feasibility assessment period.
The next stage of the process will be to obtain State Government approval according to Lacour Energy director James Townsend who was in Biloela for the exhibition.
He said the Banana Range location was chosen through a survey process.
"We have been doing wind surveys across Queensland and we thought that the high ground might be windy enough but we've been measuring it for two-and-a-half years and discovered it had a really high wind resource.
"The wind mainly blows overnight and it comes from the east. The range is north south and it blows up the range and is really windy on the top of the range.
"The other thing is we have a power line that runs straight through that range so we can just connect straight to that powerline and we can come straight off the Dawson Highway so we don't have to do any work on local roads,” he said.
"These factors mean the project can be built economically.”
The project is expected to consist of up to 51 wind turbines with a power output of approximately 180MW and it could include large-scale battery storage.
Mr Townsend said the project was predicted to generate electricity to power approximately 120,000 homes or 1% of Queensland's electricity demand.
Construction is planned to begin at the end of 2020 with the wind project to be built over two farming properties on the Banana Range.
It is expected that many of the jobs will be filled from this region giving significant opportunities for local businesses during the construction phase.
"Making sure that people know about that is really important to us because once we get to the tendering phase naturally people are running things out of Brisbane and having local people registered means we can contact local suppliers,” Mr Townsend said.
Register your in interest at www.bananarange