The combined Clarke Creek wind, solar and battery project is expected to address the electricity needs of around 660,000 households in Queensland, Australia


Squadron to build new wind-solar hub in Queensland. (Credit: Squadron Energy Pty Ltd)

Squadron Energy, backed by billionaire Andrew Forrest, has announced its plans to invest A$3bn ($2.2bn) to build a new renewable energy precinct in Central Queensland, Australia.

As part of the plan, the energy division of Tattarang has acquired Stage One and Two of the Clarke Creek wind, solar and battery farm, to create the renewable energy precinct.

The 1.2GW wind-solar complex with battery storage is anticipated to reduce the power prices for individuals and businesses, create jobs, and boost local economies in the region.

The Clarke Creek project is backed by grid connection, long-term supply agreements and has received all required state and federal approvals.

With all contracts already in place, Squadron Energy is expected to start the construction with Stage One anticipated to be fully operational in 2024, and Stage Two in 2026.

Dr Forrest said: “We have commenced construction of what will be the largest renewable energy precinct in the southern hemisphere.

“We are investing in Clarke Creek not only to harness the renewable power of the wind and sun to energise our homes, our factories and our cities, but as a critical step towards breaking our reliance on fossil fuels.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to our existence, and we must meet this global challenge with tenacity and speed.

“This announcement is a signal that Australia is prepared to act with purpose to realise our 100 per cent, green, renewable, zero-emissions energy future.”

The Clarke Creek wind, solar and battery farm is located 150km northwest of Rockhampton and 150km south of Mackay in the Isaac Shire and Livingstone Shire areas.

Its grid-scale generation is expected to reduce 2.7 million tonnes of carbon per annum and is aligned with the Queensland government’s integrated energy plan.

Stage One construction is expected to create 350 jobs and represent more than $100m investment into the local and regional economy during a three-year construction period.

Once fully operational, the renewable energy complex is expected to address electricity needs for more than 660,000 homes per annum.

In August 2020, Stanwell signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with the Queensland government, for 346.5MW from the Clarke Creek project.

Forrest added: “The Clarke Creek wind and solar farm will support regional jobs during construction,” the Premier said.

“Delivering such a huge renewable energy boost takes Queensland closer to achieving our targets of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.”