• Queensland government has shortlisted 10 projects out of more than 100 applications to move to bid submission round under its Renewables 400 reverse auction
  • First Solar, Edify Energy, Pacific Hydro among those whose solar projects have made the cut in the list of 10 shortlisted projects
  • Final selections will be managed by RE focused utility of the state government, CleanCo which is to commence trading in the national electricity market on October 31, 2019

The Queensland state government has shortlisted 10 projects under its Renewables 400 reverse auction program. These 10 projects comprising standalone wind and solar power plants, integrated renewable and energy storage projects and standalone energy storage projects, made the cut out of more than 100 applications received. The share of energy storage is up to 100 MW.

Projects selected move to the next round of bid submission. Final projects selected will be managed by Queensland’s renewables focused publicly-owned power generator, CleanCo (see Queensland Launches New RE Focused Utility).

CleanCo will commence trading in the national electricity market on October 31, 2019 and encourage up to 400 MW of new generation and storage, explained state Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham. The new utility is expected to reduce wholesale electricity prices on an average by around AUD 7 ($4.89) per MWh and thereby lead to savings of around AUD 70 ($49) per annum for an average Queensland household.

Shortlisted bidders will offer binding bids to CleanCo to supply renewable energy and the latter will then recommend projects to the government early next year.

Renewables 400 is part of the state government’s Powering Queensland Plan through which it aims to diversify its electricity generation, bring in security and reliability, support local businesses, generate employment and accelerate the deployment of energy storage. Queensland is aiming to have a 50% renewable energy share in the electricity mix by 2030.

Out of the 10 shortlisted projects, plants that are solar specific are identified as

  • 200 MW Majors Creek solar+storage farm in Woodstock by Edify Energy,
  • 100 MW Chinchilla solar+battery storage farm in Chinchilla by First Solar Australia, 55 MW Cape York Solar Storage in Lakeland by Lyon Infrastructure Investment,
  • 100 MW Haughton solar+storage farm in Upper Haughton by Pacific Hydro Australia Developments, and
  • 100 MW Collinsville North solar+storage project in Collinsville by Vena Energy.

The complete list of shortlisted projects is available on the Queensland government’s website.

Beyond these projects, CleanCo will take over the 570 MW Wivenhoe pumped storage hydro station, 385 MW gas-fired Swanbank E power station and other hydro power stations from other state utilities Stanwell and CS Energy from October 31, 2019.

“Reverse auction programs have proven extremely successful in the ACT and Victoria in helping the industry scale up and reduce the cost of building wind and solar projects in Australia,” said Clean Energy Council’s Chief Executive Kane Thornton, adding, “Queensland absolutely has the potential to be a national leader in renewable energy, though challenges remain with grid congestion and connection.”