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 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 has been measuring wind speeds at the site for more than 12 months, with promising results.
Epuron is now working closely with stakeholders to prepare an initial wind turbine layout and to determine the optimum wind farm size for this area. This initial layout will be used to frame consultation with the local community and to identify site survey work required for the environmental assessment of the project.
Epuron has engaged with the Queensland Government to determine the planning assessment requirements of the project. A number of studies and on-site surveys are currently being undertaken as we move towards a development application.
As studies are completed and feedback from the local community is received this initial layout will be revised before submitting a final indicative wind farm layout as part of Epuron's development application for the site.
Epuron is engaging with the community to seek input during the project development process, including councils, traditional owners, community members and other stakeholders.
We are keen to engage with the community widely to understand the benefits and impacts seen by those who live near the area, and where possible to shape the project to provide the greatest benefit.