Wind turbines welcomed into Port of Cairns

JOINT STATEMENT

The first massive wind turbine blades for the $373 million Kaban Green Power Hub have arrived at the Port of Cairns.

The 79-metre, 32-tonne blades are part of the wind farm construction that is supporting more than 250 jobs in far north Queensland and will deliver enough renewable energy to power 96,000 Queensland homes.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the wind farm construction came on the back of a $40 million investment by Queensland’s publicly-owned Powerlink to upgrade the transmission line between Cairns and Townsville from 132kV to 275kV.

“This wind farm will help power the North and keep Queensland on track to meet our 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 as well as creating jobs for Queenslanders,” Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles said Powerlink’s investment in upgrading power infrastructure had enabled the 28-turbine project to power ahead and would also open up further investment.

“This critical infrastructure has the potential to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new investment in renewable energy in North Queensland in the future,” Mr Miles said.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the arrival was a welcome milestone after the Palaszczuk Government had moved to secure 250 North Queensland jobs with the Kaban wind farm after the Morrison Government turned their back on the project.

“The arrival of the turbine blades is a big reminder to Queenslanders that the Morrison Government is so divided on renewables, they used their veto powers to block funding for this project – and no one will ever forget that,” Mr de Brenni said.

“For Queensland’s part, we’ll continue to invest in large-scale storage and renewable projects, rather than cut and run on them, because our clean energy future depends on it.”

Minister de Brenni also pointed to the missed opportunity of manufacturing the equipment locally because of the Federal Government’s ambivalence toward renewables and manufacturing.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s energy policy has delivered significant global investment and jobs through this project, however what would deliver an even better outcome for Queensland and the nation would be a national renewables manufacturing industry policy, and only Labor stands for that, ” Mr de Brenni said.

“Only Labor at both state and federal levels can provide energy and local jobs policy certainty to investors, businesses and Queensland workers.”

The Government’s renewable energy company CleanCo will purchase all of the expected 157MW of energy to be produced at the wind farm located near Ravenshoe, and will also control dispatch to the market.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said more infrastructure means more jobs.

“As well as creating jobs in Cairns and the hinterland, it’s good for the environment and reflects the Palaszczuk Government’s recognition of the importance of clean and reliable energy and our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” Mr Healy said.

“The arrival of this equipment has also shown the importance of our port, and being publicly-owned means Queenslanders benefit from exports and imports arriving in our state.”

CleanCo Interim CEO Darryl Rowell said the project was a key plank in CleanCo’s strategy to grow its portfolio, which includes a commitment to support the entry of 1,400MW of new renewable energy into the market by 2025.

Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser said Queensland’s first Renewable Energy Zone (QREZ) was taking shape, with construction of the Tumoulin switching station well underway.

“There are currently 30 people on site at Tumoulin working to connect this wind farm into the grid, with completion due in October this year,” Mr Simshauser said.

“We’re pleased to be able to call on the support of Ravenshoe locals to deliver this project, with Kidner Concrete supplying over 1000m3 of concrete and Dempsey Cranes and Construction for heavy plant hire.”

Once unloaded the blades will be stored in Cairns along with the towers and other components for transport to site.

The components will loaded on large prime mover trucks to make the 180km journey to site near Ravenshoe with the support of police escorts and Main Roads.

Key facts:

  • 28 turbines in total
  • Blades are 79m long, 32 tonnes each
  • Turbine rotor diameter is 162m
  • Generator height is 149m
  • Tip height (generator + blade) is 230m
  • Each turbine consists of 6 sections, ranging between 11m up to 37m. All 6 sections are approximately 80 tonnes each.

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