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#Energy – ‘Renewables 400’ program charging ahead with huge interest 

The Palaszczuk Government is bringing the next wave of renewable energy investment to Queensland through its ‘Renewables 400’ program, with over 200 businesses registering their interest so far. 

Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the 400 megawatt (MW) large-scale renewable energy reverse auction was part of the Government’s commitment to continuing the unprecedented momentum in new renewable energy investment in Queensland.

“There has already been significant interest in our Renewables 400 program, with 201 businesses registered so far including project developers, investors and local small businesses,” Mr Pitt said.

“Under this new initiative, we will support companies wanting to build the next generation of large-scale renewable and energy storage projects in Queensland.

“Industry have until 5pm today to register their interest and be a part of the continued renewable energy boom.

“An expression of interest process will open this week, on Thursday 31 August.”

Mr Pitt said the program included a focus on energy storage.

“As part of the Renewables 400 process, and to support the accelerated deployment of this technology, the Queensland Government is undertaking a specific process to secure up to 100 megawatts of energy storage prior to 2020,” he said.

“We all agree that energy storage technology will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and we are keen to see the benefits of this new investment flow into the Queensland economy.

“Not only are we encouraging investment in Queensland, but we’re also supporting diversity in renewable generation supply which is an important for our future energy security.

“Renewables 400 is one of the initiatives of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan and a natural follow on from the success of our Solar 150 program.

“The first large-scale solar projects in Queensland have now come on-line and there are another 20 projects either commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements.

“These projects will have an installed capacity of almost 1800 megawatts and importantly, will create around 2800 direct construction jobs in regional Queensland and boost investment by $3.4 billion.

Mr Pitt said that under the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland Government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which will be situated in the regions.

“Successful bidders will be awarded financial contracts with the Government for some or all of the electricity they generate which will provide them with long-term certainty allowing them to secure the financing required to deliver their project,” he said.

“The ‘reverse’ nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.

“The criteria to select successful bidders will include not only price but also support for local businesses and jobs and with a view to creating a diverse mix of renewable energy generation and storage to support a secure, reliable and affordable supply of electricity into the future.”

Expressions of Interest for the Renewables 400MW process open on Thursday 31 August. For more information on the or to submit an EOI visit www.dews.qld.gov.au

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