Queensland’s largest wind farm hits financial close

The Australian state, which aims to generate 50% of its power from renewables by 2030, has 2.5GW of proposed clean energy projects in the pipeline.

The Mount Emerald Wind Farm, a 180MW project in northern Queensland, has reached financial close. 

The scheme, an equal partnership between Thai-owned Ratch Australia and Australian developer Port Bajool, has a total investment cost of A$380 million ($293 million; €265 million). Once complete, it will be the largest wind farm in the state.

The project has secured a 25-year grid connection agreement with Australian utility Powerlink. Government-owned Ergon Energy has agreed to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030. 

Ratch Australia said it had selected Vestas and Downer Group as its preferred contractors for the project. The construction, which is expected to be completed in two years, will commence next month. 

The developer also owns and operates over 750MW of wind farms and gas power stations in the country. It is 80 percent owned by Thai utility Ratch, with the remaining stake held by Australian engineering firm Broadspectrum. 

Queensland’s government expects further such projects to launch in the coming years, with an estimated 2.5GW worth of projects in the pipeline across the state. Six solar farms, representing A$630 million of investment, are being developed through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. 

Queensland aims to generate 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2030. Of the 3.5GW wind generation capacity currently installed in the country, the state only supplied around 12MW, from wind farms in Ravenshoe and Thursday Island, Ratch Australia said in July.