Queensland eyes Barcaldine as state’s first renewables zone

Black and white map showing location of Barcaldine in Queensland
Image: Shutterstock

Queensland’s first renewable energy industrial precinct is being set up in Barcaldine, called the BREZ, with the state government announcing that several industry proponents had expressed interest in the project.

The Queensland Government provided $7 million in the State Budget towards common user infrastructure to get the proposed BREZ precinct off the ground.

Related article: Queensland previews future Stanwell Clean Energy Hub

The proposed industrial hub would be linked to a large-scale, renewable energy project and provide manufacturing tenants with competitive low-carbon electricity.

The Queensland Government is continuing to work with Sunshot Industries and Barcaldine Regional Council, the Joint Venture partners for BREZ, as they determine the best and most efficient model to deliver the project.

It follows the release of the Queensland New Industry Development Strategy in May to grow industries critical to the global shift to a net zero economy, including renewable energy manufacturing.

Community consultation on the strategy has opened and will run for approximately six weeks.

Economist Professor Ross Garnaut, author of The Superpower Transformation, said, “Queensland has immense opportunities to use its rich renewable energy resources to underwrite the state’s greatest era of economic development. The new zero emissions industry can bring full employment and rising incomes for a growing population for as far ahead as we can see.

“Inland central Queensland has missed out on new jobs and rising incomes for over half a century. The Queensland Government recognises that the new Queensland opportunities are not confined to the great provincial cities on the coast. The support for an industrial precinct using renewable energy in Barcaldine will extend the new era of Queensland development west of the Great Divide.

“The Barcaldine Renewable Energy Zone (BREZ) will provide a model for zero emissions rural development throughout Queensland and Australia

“Barcaldine was chosen as the site for the first rural renewable energy industrial zone because of its existing energy infrastructure, access to rail and road and strong support from local and state Government.

Related article: Queensland reaches 25% renewable energy milestone

“The industries in the BREZ will be globally competitive, relying on low energy and materials costs for sales. They will be sustainable, increasing in value and scale as the world moves to zero net emissions. Employment and population in Barcaldine and the surrounding region will be able to grow after generations of decline”.

The Queensland Government also announced that four remote Queensland communities were set to save $3 million per year by cutting 1.5 million litres of diesel and switching to using renewables such as solar and battery storage.

Previous articleWestern Australia gets $3b funding for grid expansion
Next articleAusNet turns to data tools to prepare for emergencies