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CEFC congratulates Powerlink on Qld infrastructure milestone


The CEFC congratulates Powerlink on the completion of transmission infrastructure to connect the Southern Downs REZ in Queensland to the grid. The CEFC committed $160 million in 2022 to enable Powerlink to build a 330kV transmission line and switching stations to connect multiple clean energy assets to the National Electricity Market, unlocking 1,500 MW in new capacity.

Powerlink media release:

MacIntyre Wind Precinct connection construction complete

9 April 2024

  • Powerlink has completed connection works for Queensland’s second Renewable Energy Zone (REZ)
  • Once complete, the MacIntyre Wind Precinct will have enough clean energy to supply power to 700,000 homes.
  • The connection works included construction of two 330kV switching stations, 65km of new 330kV transmission lines and 165 towers.
  • Powerlink has completed construction work on the transmission infrastructure to connect the largest onshore wind farm in the southern hemisphere, and Queensland’s second Renewable Energy Zone – the Southern Downs REZ – to supply clean wind energy to Queenslanders.

Two switching stations, along with 65km of high voltage transmission lines, will allow for up to two gigawatts of electricity to be exported into the grid – with the MacIntyre Wind Farm utilising almost half of this amount.

Powerlink’s switching stations play a critical role in ensuring reliable power is being delivered to the grid.

Like traffic lights control the flow of traffic, a switching station directs the flow of electricity through the electricity grid ensuring it is delivered where it is needed allowing it to operate efficiently.

The completion of Powerlink’s work means the MacIntyre Wind Farm, owned by ACCIONA Energia, is ready to be connected to the grid and supply clean wind energy to Queenslanders.

It is expected the first wind turbines will commence supplying power in stages throughout 2024 and 2025 as the wind farm undergoes testing and commissioning.

Quotes attributable to Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser:

“This is a significant milestone on one of Powerlink’s flagship projects, with the MacIntyre Wind Farm being the first stage in our Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone.

"We are proud to be partnering with ACCIONA Energia to connect this world-class project to our transmission network, supporting the state’s renewable energy targets and creating jobs and economic benefits for the region.

“This has been a remarkable team effort from those within Powerlink, ACCIONA Energia and a range of local suppliers to make this happen.”

Quotes attributable to ACCIONA Energia Managing Director Brett Wickham:

“This milestone is a major achievement as part of Queensland’s energy transition. Powerlink have been outstanding partners on this project to connect the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere into the electricity grid.”

“Queensland is the place to be for renewable energy projects. With great policy, partners and plans Queensland leads the way in the energy transition creating jobs and developing regions in the process.”

Fast facts for Powerlink’s connection works:

  • 165 transmission towers with an average height between 50-60m
  • 690km of transmission line
  • 125km of fibre optic cable
  • 220 jobs supported
  • 11 local suppliers engaged
Last updated April 2024. Media release
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