A 1.2GW wind project in Australia backed by Siemens has been approved for development by the Queensland state government.

Construction on the Forest Wind facility — a joint venture between Siemens Financial Services and local renewables developer CleanSight — can now begin by the end of the year, subject to a final investment decision, at an estimated cost of A$2bn ($1.3bn).

The project — believed to be the largest in the southern hemisphere — will be built in a state pine forest close to the coast, about 200km north of Brisbane, using up to 226 turbines. Each machine would be at least 3km away from the nearest resident, according to the developers. A turbine supplier has not yet been revealed.

Upon completion, Forest Wind would be able to generate enough energy to power a quarter of the homes in Queensland, a state that wants to generate half of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

The first phase of the project, the size of which has not been disclosed, is expected to be operational by the end of 2023, the developers say.