Representatives of the Queensland electricity industry gathered recently to discuss the future of the transmission network and the role it will play in supporting large-scale renewable generation.
More than 100 customer, consumer and industry representatives attended the Powerlink Transmission Network Forum to gain an insight into future energy and demand forecasts, network development and future investments.
A key discussion topic was how the transmission network could support the development of large-scale renewable generation, with Powerlink outlining its ‘clustering’ model for shared assets designed to reduce connection infrastructure costs.
Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said the transmission network would play an important role in reaching a lower carbon future at the lowest possible cost.
“Contributing towards a renewable energy economy is a key focus for Powerlink, with the transmission network to play an important role in facilitating new, large-scale renewable and low emissions generation,” Ms York said.
“To drive economies of scale, Powerlink has investigated a ‘clustering model’ which could see the development of Renewable Energy Zones (REZs).”
Powerlink has mapped its network to identify potential areas where there is both existing network capacity combined with high solar radiation levels. Ms York said these zones would allow multiple large-scale renewable generator proponents to connect to the existing network through ‘shared assets’, reducing infrastructure costs.
“Powerlink’s research shows that the Queensland transmission network is well positioned to accommodate sizeable quantities of new renewable generation without impacting on network stability,” she said.
Ms York said the forum was an important event to discuss the future of the transmission network in Queensland.
“We received great input from participants that will improve our decision-making and ensure we continue to provide a safe, cost effective and reliable supply of electricity across Queensland,” she said.