AGL Energy Limited (AGL) is progressing a revised Initial Assessment Report (IAR) for the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm in southern Queensland. AGL outlined what this involves during a local Community Consultative Committee meeting held on Thursday 17 March at the Cooranga North memorial Hall in Cooronga North.
AGL’s new Coopers Gap Wind Farm project manager, Neil Cooke, said AGL is reaffirming its commitment to the wind farm project by progressing development activities.
“Coopers Gap Wind Farm remains AGL’s foremost renewable energy project in Queensland with a high quality wind resource and possibly the highest average wind speeds in the state. However, there is still a long way to go before a decision can be made on whether the project proceeds. The IAR is an important first step.”
“AGL is looking to develop more large-scale renewables as shown by our recent launch of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). The Fund is an innovative financing vehicle that we are establishing to help facilitate the development of new, large-scale renewable generation projects. We also hope it will assist us in getting the Coopers Gap Wind Farm project over the line,” Mr Cooke said.
The PARF aims to attract up to $3 billion from institutional investors to support 1,000 MW of renewable generation, which represents about 20 percent of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
“The political and economic environment has changed dramatically in recent times, especially around climate change. The agreement by nations in Paris at COP21 to continue to work towards limiting climate change to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times will require the development of many new renewable projects. With this in mind AGL is submitting a revised IAR to the Queensland Department of Planning and Environment.
“We expect to have our revised IAR ready for submission within the next few months. A public submissions period would follow this. AGL would then address submissions and prepare a Revised Assessment Report,” explained Mr Cooke.
The Coopers Gap Wind Farm is initially proposed to have a capacity of up to 350 MW, which would produce approximately 1,100 GWh of renewable energy, powering more than 190,000 average Australian homes. The renewable energy produced will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 860,000 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking over 250,000 cars off the road each year.
Neil Cooke will immediately take over as project manager for the wind farm. He has been with AGL for over 14 years and is one of AGL’s most experienced project managers having been involved with the development, construction and operational phases of projects.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.