New 500MW wind farm and big battery planned for southern Queensland

The developers of the Queensland solar, wind, and pumped hydro storage hub that has been dubbed the “Battery of the North”[1] are planning another massive renewables project for the state’s south, in this case comprising a 500MW wind farm and 200MWh of battery storage.

The Wambo wind farm[2] is being co-developed by Renewable Energy Partners – developers of the north Queensland Urannah Renewable Energy Hub[3] – and Cubico Sustainable Investments near the Bunya Mountains in southern Queensland’s Western Downs region.

The developers say the site has been pinpointed for its promising wind resources and favourable grid connectivity – if approved it would be a relatively near neighbour (within 20km) of AGL’s similarly large 400MW Coopers Gap wind farm.

Wambo, which would consist of 200MW of wind in its first phase of development, is currently in the early feasibility and planning stages ahead of applying for development approval from the state government.

According to the wind farm’s website, the project was conceived and explored by Renewable Energy Partners in mid-2018, since which time REP has secured a number of landowners to participate in the project.

In mid-2019, REP then agreed with Cubico Sustainable Investments to co-develop the project, with Cubico to be its long-term owner and operator.

When fully operational, Wambo is expected to generate up to 500MW of electricity into the national grid and incorporate a 50MW (200MWhr) battery for “storage and dispatch of energy on demand into the grid,” REP says.

According to a timeline on the website, an environmental planning assessment is expected to be submitted to the Queensland planning department in late 2020, with the goal of starting construction in the third quarter of 2021.

REP said the project would employ around 200 people during construction, and in the long term, up to 20 maintenance and operational staff.

Once operational, the wind farm would contribute to the community in a targeted and meaningful way through a community benefit fund.

As well as Wambo and Urannah, Renewable Energy Partners is also behind the 250MW Western Downs solar farm in Queensland.

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