- The state of Queensland has attracted EOIs for 60 GW of renewable energy capacity for its 3 renewable energy zones
- It comes in the form of 192 projects representing an investment of AUD 93.7 billion
- Participating technologies include solar PV, wind, biomass and storage among others
- Government will now shortlist and approve the projects prioritizing investments that focus on state’s recovery from COVID-19
In September 2020, the State Government of Queensland had invited interested bidders to express interest in 3 REZs Queensland wants to develop for an investment of AUD 145 million ($109 million) in North, Central and South West Queensland. Technologies invited under the tender were solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, storage and a combination of these (see Queensland Seeks Interest For 3 Renewable Energy Zones).
In less than a month, the Australian state has received expression of interest (EOI) for a total of 60 GW of clean energy in the form of a whopping 192 projects estimated to create up to 57,000 jobs in the process, the government shared. If all of these projects are developed, it would translate into over AUD 93.7 billion ($70.66 million) investment.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this ‘overwhelming interest’ from renewables investors is ‘shattering expectations’. Potential projects submitted are for a mix of clean energy generation technologies as solar PV, wind, biomass and a number of the projects also offer storage technologies as utility scale batteries.
“Between Cairns and Townsville, our initiative has attracted strong interest from a variety of projects which will support the growing demand for new economy minerals extraction and processing, that are critical to the components required in the renewable and technology sectors,” shared Mick de Brenni, the state’s Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
Most EOIs, 72 in number, have been submitted for the southern zone covering the Darling Downs, a region that has ‘growing opportunities in sustainable agriculture and ecotourism’. The region around Longreach and Rockhampton has attracted 67 projects which the government points out will enable growth in its renewable hydrogen development.
As the next step, Queensland government would be shortlisting and approving projects submitted in 2021 with a priority on investments that focus on the state’s recovery from COVID-19.
Currently, the state has 33 operational large scale solar and wind power projects with another 11 committed or under construction.
“Importantly, we are putting $145 million on the table to fund transmission infrastructure, making it easier for renewable projects to connect to the National Electricity Market, encouraging even more investment,” said Palaszczuk.