Australian mining billionaire to invest $2.2bn in renewable energy project

Andrew Forrest. (Image by Mines and Money, Flickr).

Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest, who’s been betting big on a global green revolution, said on Sunday he was investing A$3 billion ($2.2 billion) in renewable energy in central Queensland.

Forrest, Australia’s richest man, said his company Squadron Energy has acquired the two-stage Clarke Creek project – a wind, solar and battery farm development – with contracts already issued for the immediate start of construction.

“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,” Forrest said in a statement.

Forrest has said he wants to turn Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, of which he is chairman, into the world’s biggest green energy group.

Stage one of the Clarke Wind project is anticipated to be fully operational in 2024. Stage two could come online in 2026, Forrest said.

When completed, the project could produce enough wind, solar and battery energy to power more than 660,000 homes, or 40% of Queensland households, Forrest said in the statement.

($1 = 1.3827 Australian dollars)

(By Sonali Paul and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Tom Hogue)


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