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Powerlink Queensland

About Powerlink Queensland

Powerlink Queensland is a provider of high-voltage electricity transmission network services. Its services include network connections, telecommunications, oil testing and laboratory services, consulting services, and many more. It is based in Virginia, Australia.

Headquarters Location

33 Harold St

Virginia, Queensland, 4014,


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Latest Powerlink Queensland News

Farmers 'in box seat' to profit from power switch

Mar 12, 2023

Copy Huge cash payments are available to farmers and other rural landowners for the renewable energy projects Australia needs quickly. Some people say they are climate farmers. More and more rural land owners are cashing in on the renewable energy bonanza. Once derided as health hazards or as a blot on the country's landscape, farmland owners are now competing for wind turbines and solar farms. Long-term leases can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for the landowners. These windfalls can smooth out the peaks and troughs of making a buck from farming for a generation or more. Many farmers are today actively exploring renewable energy network plans and the once dark art of using their land to obtain carbon credits. Energy companies need large areas of treeless land, remote from community centres, for large-scale renewable projects which has often put farmers in the driving seat. NSW Farmers energy transition working group chair Reg Kidd said farmers were "in the box seat" in moving Australia from coal to renewables, with installations and power lines set to criss-cross rural areas and should be fairly compensated. "These payments are welcomed to deal with the losses of our rural landowners in productivity and amenity, and for the contribution to both our state and national goals of reducing carbon emissions." Wind and solar farms typically have a life of about 25 years. Long-term leases of 25 years with options to re-new can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for the land owners. Governments are not afraid to splash taxpayer money around to get their way as well. Thousands of kilometres of infrastructure is planned or already under construction to connect new wind and solar projects to the power grid. They are keen to break a deadlock with angry communities who don't want the unsightly high voltage transmission lines which are necessary to get this clean energy from the wind and solar farms in the country to the city. Victoria and NSW governments have offered big cash incentives for landowners to change their minds. Along with the other payments expected to be paid by the power company for these easements, the bigger property owner can be well rewarded . But others have seen the offer as a virtual bribe designed to end years of protest being waged by communities about these unsightly towers and transmission lines. Today we take a close look at how much landowners are being paid as custodians of large areas of farm land which the power generators desperately need as the world responds to global warming. Most of payments are clouded by secrecy inherent with contracts. Some farmland owners we spoke to were hesitant to upset neighbours who were "missing out". Solar farms Large areas of cleared country are needed where the solar "resource" is best for the nation to meet its zero emissions targets. Farmers agreeing to lease land for solar farms can expect a longer deal than those for wind turbines, 35 years against 25 years. The more panels on the land and the better the quality of the sunshine the more the payment. One farm in NSW hosting a big solar farm is being paid $437 per acre annually, or almost $600,000 a year. Over the life of the 35 year deal, this adds up to a remarkable $21 million. We were told up to $3000 per acre could be paid annually with some solar farms. Some landowners ask the power companies to raise their panels on a steel framework so stock can still be grazed around them, although some companies prefer not to. They want to automate their panels to track the sun and dust is their enemy, not just clouds. Wind farms Wind farms were slow to catch on for their farm hosts but now offer huge rental payments over many years. Generally a price between $4000 to $8000 per turbine is paid to the host farmer based on megawatt capacity. Newer turbines have greater power output than the originals which sprouted up in the "best" wind resource areas. For instance, Australia's biggest wind farm development at Golden Plains in Victoria has a farm footprint of 16,739ha (41,363 acres). Located 133km west of Melbourne, this project's first stage involves 215 turbines, each with a capacity of approximately 6MW. The average land rental for a single turbine would be between $24,000-$48,000 per year. Even at the lower end, their 20 year life would reward the landowner with almost half a million dollars per turbine. You can understand why there is jealousy among neighbours about hosting the turbines. In the case of Golden Plains, the project's backer, Westwind Energy, has been testing the wind resource there since 2006. When some landowners are approached to lease land for a turbine they might also want the bigger turbines which can also be limited by the ability of the power company to transport the components of the turbine, especially the long blades, into the area. This has become an issue in Queensland. Transmission lines Australia needs thousands of kilometres of new high voltage lines criss-crossing the country to connect the new renewable projects to the power grid. By one official estimate, Australia needs to build more than 10,000 kilometres of new high-voltage transmission lines to carry renewable energy. Much of this will criss-cross rural land. Just last week the Victorian government offered rural property owners a payment for the controversial electricity transmission lines needed to get clean energy from the country to the city. They have offered $8000 per year per kilometre of transmission lines hosted for 25 years, or $200,000. Victoria has basically mirrored the offer from the NSW government which has agreed to pay farmers $10,000 a year over 20 years for each kilometre of line - although the total is still the same. EnergyConnect is building a 900km electricity transmission line, known as an interconnector, to connect power grids across three Australian states, driving competition in the wholesale electricity market. The interconnector is being built between Wagga Wagga in NSW and Robertstown in South Australia, with a connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria. Transgrid is partnering with ElectraNet to deliver EnergyConnect, with Transgrid building the NSW section. Powerlink Queensland is looking at duplicating existing transmission lines or routing them along public land such as adjacent to highways. At present Powerlink is offering one-off compensation payments for landholders. "For a substation site, our preference is to obtain freehold title for the substation site land. We normally purchase the required land for substation sites and compensation is based on the market value of the land itself," Powerlink says. What is known is the Victorian and NSW government payments will be extra to the one-off compensation paid to landowners for the acquisition of transmission easements in accordance with the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. AusNet wants to build almost 200km of power lines with towers said to be as big as the MCG's light towers through western Victoria. Most analysts say the payments for these easements is "basically double" what the governments have made public. Share

Powerlink Queensland Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Powerlink Queensland's headquarters?

    Powerlink Queensland's headquarters is located at 33 Harold St, Virginia.

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