Warwick is a very pretty town. Some of the historical buildings are stunning. I should know, I lived there for 8 years.
The town already has a functioning solar farm run by the University of Queensland, and now the foundations have been poured for the nearby MacIntyre Wind Precinct.
Local businesses are set to receive a quarter of the $2 billion budget. Plant hire, waste removal, and quarry work are just some of the local work Acciona is engaging in Warwick. $2.5 million has also been set aside for financial contributions to local community programs, events, and initiatives over the first 10 years of the project in order to build strong communities. In 2021 and 2022, the program has already donated $150,000 to the community. A sample of the recipients (including some from Warwick) can be seen in the latest project newspaper.
“After three months of earthworks and ground preparation, concrete has begun to pour for 180 foundations that will support some of the most powerful onshore wind turbines in the world. When completed the MacIntyre Wind Precinct’s 180 turbines will generate 1,026MW of renewable electricity, enough power for the equivalent of 700,000 homes.”
“After breaking ground on what is the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere, the pouring of the first tower foundation is more proof that renewable energy equals more jobs in regional Queensland,” Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said.
ACCIONA Energia Managing Director Brett Wickham said construction was proceeding at full steam, creating nearly 700 jobs and supporting hundreds of local businesses in the process.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the local community as we build this transformational project,” said Mr Wickham.
“Ark Energy will use renewable energy from the MacIntyre Wind Farm to decarbonise its zinc refinery operations in Townsville becoming one of the first major refineries in the world to produce green zinc,” said Ark Energy CEO Daniel Kim.
“Community groups are the social fabric of many regional towns, so it’s important that we support initiatives that in turn, support the broader community,” said ACCIONA Energía General Manager of Brand & Marketing, Emma Reiners. “The annual sponsorship program provides us with a great opportunity to give back to the community.”
Rural Doctors Foundation, for example, was awarded $10,000 in order to purchase more medihoods for local hospitals “to protect healthcare workers against the spread of COVID19 and other infectious diseases.”
“Rural Doctors Foundation covers rural and remote communities to help them improve their health. Thanks to the generosity of ACCIONA Energia we were able to provide Medihoods to the hospitals in Warwick and Millmerran,” said Rural Doctors Foundation Chief Executive Officer Fran Avon.
“These devices help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, which is especially important in smaller rural healthcare facilities where the absence of a doctor or nurse due to illness could mean the closure of the hospital service,” said Ms Avon.
Acciona’s community engagement appears to have won over the locals. Applications for the 2023 sponsorship program will open in February 2023.
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