Far north winds: one of Queensland’s largest wind farms is now operational

3 min

The Mt Emerald Wind Farm (a $400 million project situated about 50 kilometres from Cairns, Queensland) was opened by the state government last week

With strong gales blowing through eastern and southern Australia this week, we were reminded of the awesome might and power of wind, and its potential to be harnessed. According to reporting done by ARENA, by the end of 2018 there was 600 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy installed globally, meeting over 5% of the world’s electricity demand. In our 2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP), AEMO projected that wind generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) here in Australia could double from 15GW in 2018-19 to 30GW in 2025-26.

In Queensland, the state government has embraced the potential of large scale wind generation by investing heavily and officially opening one of its largest wind farms to date, Mt Emerald Wind Farm.

During the launch, the state Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said that the $400 million project involving 53 massive turbines was part of the renewable energy boom happening in Queensland. “Queensland has more than 2,400 megawatts of largescale renewable energy capacity operating already. Almost 900 megawatts more of large-scale renewable capacity is currently financially committed or under construction,” the Premier said.

She added that, “The Mt Emerald Wind Farm will supply 500 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity every year, which is enough to power 80,000 homes a year, the equivalent to supplying about one third of the Far North’s energy needs.”

The Queensland state government has committed to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050. 

In line with these transformational changes to generation and supply, AEMO’s Renewable Integration Study report, planned for early 2020, will provide deep technical insights and analysis on managing the rapid changes to wind (and solar) output and variability. Please visit our dedicated Renewable Integration Study page and fact sheet for more information. 

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