Neoen has signalled the start of construction of Kaban Green Power Hub in Far North Queensland. The project is expected to start operating in 2023.
The Kaban Green Power Hub is a $373 million investment designed to generate clean affordable energy and to strengthen the electricity network in Far North Queensland.
The project comprises a 157 MW wind farm located near the town of Ravenshoe in the Atherton Tablelands and a 320-kilometre transmission line upgrade from 132 kV to 275 kV of the North Queensland coastal circuit.
The Queensland Government is committing $40 million towards the network upgrade which will support Kaban and establish the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
Neoen and Powerlink are partnering to upgrade the line between Cairns and Townsville which will substantially improve the network’s system strength, increasing the energy available to be dispatched from other plants in the region and unlocking up to 180 MW of additional capacity for future projects.
The project is underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement with Queensland Government-owned electricity generation and trading company, CleanCo.
It will deliver competitively priced electricity, contributing towards Queensland’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and creating new investment and over 250 construction jobs in Far North Queensland.
The project’s excellent wind resource will generate 457 GWh of affordable clean energy each year, enough to power approximately 100,000 Queensland homes.
Kaban’s wind generation profile is complementary to the wind generated in the southern regions of the National Electricity Market (NEM), contributing to stronger supply during peak periods.
In line with Neoen’s ‘develop to own’ business model, the company will be the long-term owner and operator of the project and is committed to sharing benefits with the surrounding community.
An annual Community Benefit Fund will be established to provide opportunities for local community-building initiatives. Neoen is also working closely with the Jirrbal people, Traditional Owners of the land on which the project is located, to deliver a range of employment and community development outcomes.
The Kaban wind project takes Neoen’s portfolio past the 2 GW milestone of assets operating or under construction in Australia.
Neoen is the owner and operator of 14 wind, solar and battery storage projects in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. The company, which is active in 15 countries, is targeting 10 GW globally by the end of 2025.
Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said: “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Queensland Government and to CleanCo for their unfailing support and to Powerlink and Vestas for their hard work which has enabled Kaban Green Power Hub to reach this important milestone.”
“We are also grateful to those in the wider community who have advocated for the project and the benefits it will bring. We are proud of the pivotal role the project is playing in establishing the North Queensland REZ and look forward to Kaban contributing to Queensland’s energy transition, and to supporting the region’s recovery from COVID-19.”
President of Vestas Asia Pacific, Purvin Patel, said: “Vestas is proud that our partnership with Neoen has been extended to Australia through the Kaban Green Power Hub.”
“We are pleased that Neoen has chosen our leading technology, market experience and broad service solutions to help them achieve the best return on investment for their project.”
CleanCo Queensland’s CEO, Dr Maia Schweizer, said CleanCo’s agreement to buy wind energy generated by the Kaban Green Power Hub fits right into its unique portfolio of low emissions and renewable energy.
“We will use it to supply our customers – some of Queensland’s largest businesses – with reliable, globally competitive low-emissions energy,” Dr Schweizer said.
“We are proud to tap into Far North Queensland’s excellent renewable resources as we support Queensland’s 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target.”
Neoen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xavier Barbaro, added: “We are delighted to be collaborating on this second project with CleanCo Queensland and I would like to thank them for once again putting their trust in us.”
“I would also like to thank and congratulate our Australian team for achieving over 2 GW of assets operating and under construction. Australia is Neoen’s leading country and will be a key contributor to our global target of 10 GW by the end of 2025,” Mr Barbaro said.