The Biloela region is home to one of Queensland's largest coal-fired power stations and an area of significant coal mining activity. In addition to these coal resources it also has significant wind energy resources which provide a long term future for energy supply from the region.
The proposed Specimen Hill Wind Farm is located approximately 60km south-west of Gladstone and 25km north-east of Biloela in central Queensland. The location has been chosen because there is a strong wind resource, high voltage transmission lines and good road access via the Dawson Highway, with few neighbouring properties.
Wind measurements show strong winds from the east dominating the site with a strong night-time profile. This complements the day-time power output of existing solar farms to provide reliable 24/7 power to the Queensland grid.
Epuron anticipates the project will involve 50-60 wind turbines with a tip height potentially exceeding 200 metres. Each wind turbine will require access tracks for construction and operation, as well as underground and overhead powerlines connecting to a proposed on-site substation.
The project will connect via a new substation to the on-site 275,000 volt Wurdong to Calvale powerlines owned and operated by Powerlink.
Wind farms generate significant economic benefits for the local region during both the construction and operating phases. Around half of the capital cost is expected to be spent within Queensland, and local businesses will benefit from increased number of workers in the area.
Epuron is working closely with the project's stakeholders to determine the optimal design for the wind farm. Various on-site technical studies and surveys are underway for the development application and environmental assessment, and Epuron is establishing agreements with the site's Traditional Owners, the First Nations Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng, Taribelang Bunda People and the Gaangalu Nation People.
The project has also been referred to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for review under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
As studies are completed and feedback from consultants and stakeholders is received the proposed design will be refined before Epuron submits its development application for the project to the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency for assessment.
Epuron is engaging widely with the local community to seek input during the development application and assessment process including councils, traditional owners, community members and others.
We are keen to understand the benefits and impacts seen by those who live in the area, and where possible use this input to shape the project for greatest benefit. To connect with Epuron on this project please email us or register to receive the project newsletter.