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‘Renewables 400’ accelerates Queensland’s clean energy boom

The Palaszczuk Government’s ‘Renewables 400’ initiative – a key plank of the $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan – is on the road to success with 115 proposals lodged from 79 businesses wanting a piece of the investment action in Queensland.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey, who updated Parliament on the program, said the EOI for the 400 megawatt (MW) large-scale renewable energy reverse auction, with 100MW storage recently closed on the 25 September.

“We’ve received strong interest from local and overseas companies and it’s clear that investors are excited about the renewable energy boom happening in the Queensland and what we have to offer,” Mr Bailey said.

“Renewable energy and storage technology will play an important role in the transition to a lower carbon energy future and we are doing everything we can to ensure the benefits of this new investment flow into the Queensland economy.

“The proposals received include renewable energy projects from a wide range of technologies and energy storage projects either stand alone or integrated with a renewable energy project.

“These opportunities are across the State, mostly in regional Queensland, highlighting the strength and abundance of our renewable energy resources.”

Mr Bailey said the renewable energy project proposals have a combined capacity of over 9,000 MW.

“This is greater than the current 8,200 MW generated by coal-fired power stations and is further proof that Queensland does not need a new coal-fired power station being trumpted by the LNP,” Mr Bailey said.

“This combined capacity of clean energy would easily supply power for all households in Queensland.

“The clean energy mix of the EOI is around 2200 MW of wind energy, more than 6400 MW of solar and around 500MW of other renewable energy technologies such as biomass.

“A number of these projects could be first of a kind in Queensland, including concentrated solar thermal technology which provides dispatchable energy supply – like the Crescent Dunes facility in the Nevada desert, powering Las Vegas overnight.”

Mr Bailey said it was exciting to see 6,000 MW of proposals for energy storage projects were also received.

“There is some real innovation in these proposals, as we have had interest from stand-alone projects as well as those integrated with renewable energy projects,” he said.

“The integration of storage with renewables is the future and particularly important to enable renewable energy to be dispatched in the market when it is required.

“In addition, we have received proposals from across the energy storage technology spectrum – battery storage is certainly prominent but we have also got broader interest, including technologies that have yet to be deployed in the Australian market.

“In addition to supporting the deployment of renewable energy, storage technologies can provide a range of services that will help to enhance the security and reliability of Queensland’s electricity network.

“So by encouraging investment in Queensland, we’re also supporting diversity in renewable generation supply and our future energy security.”

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government is proud to have kick-started the renewable energy boom in Queensland after a renewable energy black out under the LNP.

“Not one large scale renewable energy project was built under the previous LNP government and since the Palaszczuk Government was elected we now have 21 renewable projects in the pipeline worth more than $3.4 billion committed to or under construction in Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to transitioning to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 and we’re well on our way to making this happen in a responsible, achievable and sustainable way.”

Shortlisted projects will be invited to participate to the next and final stage of the auction process expected to start in November 2017.

For more information on the ‘Renewables 400’ initiative or the Powering Queensland Plan, visit www.dews.qld.gov.au.

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