The Queensland Government has announced progress on it’s Powering Queensland Plan to boost energy security and jobs in the state.
Launching ‘Renewables 400’, Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy, Curtis Pitt, said the State Government was committed to continuing the unprecedented momentum in new renewable energy investment and energy storage in Queensland.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said, “Renewables 400 is one of the initiatives of my Government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan, and a natural follow on from the success of our Solar 150 program.
“Under this new initiative, we will support companies wanting to build the next generation of large-scale renewable and battery storage projects in Queensland, with priority given to projects that support local jobs and businesses.
“As part of the Renewables 400 program, the Palaszczuk Government will undertake a specific process to secure up to 100 megawatts of energy storage prior to 2020.
“Energy storage will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and this process will support the accelerated deployment of this important technology.”
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,” Mr Pitt 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.”
Mr Pitt said the early registration provides adequate time to ensure companies are ready to hit the ground running when the process opens.
“When the Palaszczuk Government was elected, there was not one large scale renewable energy project commissioned in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.
“In just 18 months, we’ve kick-started the renewable energy boom and there are now 17 projects financially committed in Queensland bringing strong benefits to regional Queensland, including $2.3 billion of investment and 2,200 construction jobs, with many more on the way.
“Energy is undergoing a transformational change in the way it is generated, transported and used and as a government you have to plan for that and not stick your head in the sand and pretend our only option is expensive coal-fired power stations anymore.
“We’re committed to transitioning to a clean energy future in a responsible, achievable and sustainable way – with affordability always front and centre.”
Expression of interest will open in late August 2017.