Queensland prescribed double dose of large-scale renewables

Published Tuesday, 16 November, 2021 at 03:23 PM

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Work has kicked-off to double Queensland’s large-scale renewables, create new jobs for Queenslanders and manufacturing opportunities across the state.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni launched the Technical Discussion Paper that will help deliver new and upgraded energy infrastructure across Queensland’s Renewable Energy Zones (QREZ) to bring more renewable projects online.

“Queensland is quickly accelerating towards its 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2030 because we’re taking action now to upgrade our transmission infrastructure and match future demand with future generation,” he said. 

“Assessments show that targeted infrastructure investment in key areas within our renewable energy zones across the state will unlock at least 3,300 megawatts of new renewable energy – and that’s just the first stage.

“By bringing 3,300 megawatts online, we’ll be more than doubling the operational large-scale renewables delivered since 2015.

“That additional capacity is enough to power around 1.5 million homes.

“Delivering more clean energy will be vital in supercharging our emerging hydrogen economy and helping to grow industrial hubs and manufacturing across the state. 

“We’ve done initial work in identifying opportunities, now we want to hear from industry and energy stakeholders on how those opportunities can be realised.”

The Technical Discussion Paper sets out a preferred framework for QREZ design and access, including a new Ministerial power to declare renewable energy zones and associated infrastructure, processes for connecting generators to the network, and how specific renewable resources may be prioritised for targeted regions.

“In an area with high quality wind it makes sense to specifically encourage wind farms,” Minister de Brenni said.

“Similarly, if we know manufacturing and regional industries are calling out for cheaper, cleaner energy in a specific hub, it makes sense to build new renewable energy projects close by. 

“It’s important that we hear from industry on how best to capitalise on these opportunities, and on what we can do to improve or streamline the QREZ design and access model.”

Submissions on the QREZ Technical Paper will be open until 14 January 2022, with the paper available at: www.qld.gov.au/renewable-energy-zones

The Queensland Government has been working closely with Powerlink, Queensland’s state-owned transmission company, to identify opportunities for new or upgraded transmission infrastructure.

Across the QREZ, the first stages of investment and identified opportunities include: 

  • A $40 million state-funded commitment for network upgrades between Cairns and Townsville to support around 500 megawatts of new projects in the Northern QREZ, starting with the 157-megawatt Kaban Green Power Hub wind farm.
  • Unlocking an initial 800 megawatts of renewable energy within the Central QREZ, which has huge potential as a hydrogen powerhouse, as demonstrated by the recent announcements by Fortescue Future Industries in making Gladstone a hydrogen technology manufacturing hub.
  • Network investments in the Southern QREZ in the Darling Downs could support the connection of more than 2,000 megawatts of new renewable projects on top of the committed 1026-megawatt MacIntyre Wind Farm and 180-megawatt Dulacca Renewable Energy Project.

Minister de Brenni said work was also progressing to ensure communities benefited from renewables, with feedback from stakeholders sought earlier this year being incorporated into a QREZ local benefits and social licence strategy which is currently under development.


Media contact: Dan Knowles 0432 681 664