Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the government will invest $145 million in new transmission infrastructure to unlock three new renewable energy corridors across North Queensland, Central Queensland and South West Queensland as part of the state’s economic recovery plan.
“We will map out areas within Queensland for investment in renewables – solar and wind – by supporting the delivery of transmission infrastructure,” Ms Palaszczuk told a ‘State of the States’ event.
The transmission infrastructure will be targeted at encouraging investment in new wind and solar projects, creating renewable energy zones for the three regions.
State-owned transmission company Powerlink and renewable generator CleanCo’s involvement in the zones will also enable and encourage new investment.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has welcomed the commitment of the Palaszczuk Government to unlock the three zones.
“Grid congestion is the biggest underlying challenge facing new investment in large-scale renewable energy in Queensland,” says Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
“Accelerating construction and expansion of the transmission network will unlock new private sector investment in large-scale renewable energy.”
REZs provide much-needed additional electricity transmission infrastructure in designated areas, where it can be carefully planned in consultation with the community and support new renewable energy investment in an efficient way that benefits consumers and communities.
In addition to network investment, other positive initiatives announced as part of the Queensland REZs include streamlining the development of new renewable energy projects, support for the deployment of new energy storage and work to attract new industries to these zones.
“Queensland has among the best renewable energy resources in Australia and stand-out potential to become a clean energy superpower leveraging its low-cost renewable electricity, strong skills base and trade links with southern states and Asia,” Mr Thornton said.
Around 5500MW of large-scale renewable energy generation is needed between now and 2030 to meet Queensland’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy, which could attract almost $10 billion of private investment and create more than 10,000 jobs.
“Investors stand at the ready, with around 17,000 MW of new large-scale renewable energy projects having already secured planning approvals if the regulatory and market conditions are right,” Mr Thornton said.