North Queensland energy projects’ $150 million plan

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Labor has pledged to commit more than $150 million to expand its commitment to renewable energy in Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Energy Minister Mark Bailey launched the Powering Queensland’s Future Plan, while touring the Clare Solar Farm project in Ayr.

Ms Palaszczuk said her government remained committed to having at least 50 per cent renewable energy in Queensland by 2030.

“Our Powering Queensland’s Future Plan sets out actions to make sure we get the balance right, delivering more of the cheapest form of new generation renewables sooner to complement our young and efficient fleet of coal and gas-fired generation,” she said.

“Getting this balance right will deliver affordable and stable power for households, businesses and industry.”

The plan includes $97 million for solar panels at schools and a $50 million investment in a solar thermal power plant.

Ms Palaszczuk said there were a number of proposals for a solar thermal plant, including one near Townsville.

“We are committed to establishing a solar thermal baseload generator, which can power Queensland even at night,” she said.

“We are offering a $50 million capital downpayment to help make this a reality.

“There are a number of proposals currently in the market, for example CWP Renewables is currently proposing to build a solar thermal plant near Townsville, which would support approximately 2000 jobs during construction, and 50 operational and maintenance jobs.

“This will contribute to our focus on flexible and dispatchable generation which can deliver power to the grid when it’s needed.”

The Premier also pledged $3.1 million to investigate the feasibility of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant near Townsville.

Last week, Mayor Jenny Hill said she wanted a $3 million commitment from either of the major parties to the factory.

“BEI estimates that at full capacity, the project would provide up to 1000 jobs in the factory itself, another 1000 jobs in support businesses and an additional 5000 jobs supported in original equipment manufacturing,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps said Ms Palaszczuk continued to deceive Queenslanders about the real cost of renewable energy.

“When is Annastacia Palaszczuk going to reveal how much her government has spent of Queensland taxpayers’ money propping up overseas renewable energy companies?” Mr Cripps said.

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