The winds of change – Queensland pushes closer to renewable energy target

26 September 2022

Stanwell is working with global renewable energy developer RES to develop the proposed Tarong West Wind Farm which, when operating, will generate up to 500 MW of clean, renewable energy at the site 30 km south-west of Kingaroy.

Stanwell could receive up to $776 million in funding through the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund to invest in the Tarong West Wind Farm, pending the successful outcome of a Board approved Business Case and subsequent shareholding Minister approval.

The $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund has been established to increase public ownership of renewable energy and hydrogen projects, as well as supporting infrastructure, in partnership with the private sector.

The Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund will support Stanwell to transform its portfolio, support the achievement of Queensland’s renewable energy target and ensure a sustainable and affordable energy future for Queenslanders.

CEO of RES in Australia, Matt Rebbeck, said RES was very excited to be part of the clean energy future of Queensland through the proposed Tarong West Wind Farm project.

“We are delighted that the project has been selected for potential funding through the forward-looking Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund,” he said.

“RES has delivered multiple large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia, with over 1.1 GW in construction or operations.

“Our vision is a future where everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy.

“The proposed Tarong West Wind Farm is expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power around 230,000 homes and will create approximately 200 direct local jobs during construction, with up to 15 ongoing operational roles, and provide significant regional benefits.”

Stanwell CEO, Michael O’Rourke, said Stanwell proposes to take 100 per cent ownership and operation of the wind farm once built.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Stanwell and the transformation of our business,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Full ownership of the Tarong West Wind Farm project would support the decarbonisation of our existing portfolio, enable us to meet our customers’ demand for renewable energy products, and provide future career development opportunities for our people.”

Mr O’Rourke said Stanwell was progressing discussions with a number of renewable energy project proponents, including RES, with a view to diversifying its energy portfolio and providing opportunities for its people.

Recent announcements include a long-term agreement with Squadron Energy for 346.5 MW offtake from the Clarke Creek Wind Farm, and a potential joint venture with Cubico Sustainable Investments that could see Stanwell own 50 percent of the 252 MW Wambo Wind Farm and dispatch of the remaining 50 per cent of the power generated under an offtake agreement.

“The energy market is changing, and so are we,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“We’re working together with government, our customers, our communities and our people to transform our business, and bring long-term economic prosperity and jobs to Queensland.

“Strategic partnerships with renewable energy projects such as Tarong West Wind Farm, are critical to us supporting our customers decarbonisation goals, as well as our own.

“We are investing in Queensland’s renewable energy future and ensuring that opportunities arising from the next wave of renewable projects provide benefits for Queensland communities, workers and our economy.”

The Tarong West Wind Farm is anticipated to reach Financial Investment Decision in Q2 2024. Construction of the wind farm is expected to commence in 2024, with anticipated commercial operations from 2026.

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