An abandoned motel and service station along Marlborough Sarina Rd
An abandoned motel and service station along Marlborough Sarina Rd Stuart Quinn

Wind farm not just blowing hot air up council

ONCE operational, this wind farm will generate about 2000 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity each year, equivalent to three per cent of Queensland's current electricity demand.

Understandably, Isaac Regional Council can claim another feather in their cap with their uptake of renewables and the 195 wind turbines announced for Clarke Creek.

The $1 billion Lacour Energy wind farm project will be one of the nation's largest wind farms when completed.

Isaac Regional Council Deputy Mayor Kelly Vea Vea said Council is committed to working with the State Government and Lacour Energy to see this project delivered, but also ensuring the interests of surrounding landholders and residents are represented.

"Just like any large scale approval we see out here it's about knowing that our people have genuinely been consulted and heard," she said.

"When you put a community fund like that it gives people the opportunity to continually have those discussions about community benefit with one of the proponents.

"What it really does is highlight the fact that when you have an approval for a project of this scale, it's not just about minimising impacts but maximising community benefits, and ensuring there are opportunities associated with the project that have a long-term community benefit, not just a short-term flash of cash.

Cr Vea Vea said, as part of the project, Council wanted to ensure appropriate upgrades to the Marlborough-Sarina Road, an important road link on the western side of the coastal range, are delivered.

"With any project like this you really have to be looking for those infrastructure agreements to make sure that its not locals and ratepayers in the state that are funding the wear and tear and the impact on those road networks,"

"That will be a separate agreement with the company that will finance the impact, particularly in the construction phase that will be huge.

Council has approved 10 solar farm projects with a further application under consideration. These solar farms range from 50 megawatts up to 400 megawatts.

"Isaac is already the resources capital of Queensland as the source of almost half of the State's saleable coal, which is helping to build and power communities. But we are fast on track to becoming the renewables capital as well."

"We are looking at more than 1600 megawatts of generating capacity approved and a further 530 megawatts to come," Cr Vea Vea said.

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