800+ JOBS: Coles’ new investment in Darling Downs
SOUTHERN Downs residents are set to profit from a share of 800 jobs created by supermarket giant Coles' investment in the region's clean energy sources.
The retailer will source more than 90 per cent of its Queensland electricity requirements from CleanCo's MacIntyre Wind Farm and the Western Downs Green Power Hub from July 2022.
The 10-year agreement secured the development of both projects, which together with CleanCo's Karara wind farm will create 800 jobs across the Southern and Western Downs regions.
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With the MacIntyre Wind Farm situated largely within the Goondiwindi Regional Council, Mayor Lawrence Springborg hoped residents would reap the benefits of the project.
"As I understand it, we've had very little interaction at a local government level with regards to the wind farm, beyond the concept and the proposal," Cr Springborg said.
"We're just very hopeful these benefits which have been put forward, and they do sound very good, are applied completely and beneficially across our region.
"Obviously, it's our local roads and infrastructure that may be impacted as things progress, so we would hope to see the benefits of jobs and infrastructure from the ongoing operation."
According to a Coles spokeswoman, the partnership will reduce the supermarket giant's electricity carbon dioxide emissions nationally by about 20 per cent per year.
Coles chief sustainability, property, and export officer Thinus Keeve said the retailer's investment in the Southern Downs represented its greater commitment to renewable energy.
"Long-term agreements like this are a great example of how we are able to reduce our energy costs, support the community, and make a meaningful impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
"(They) are great examples of how we can grow renewable energy generation capacity in Australia, because they give the developers the certainty they need to invest."
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