Gladstone boosted by $145m renewables corridor
GLADSTONE is set to benefit from a $145m investment in new transmission infrastructure designed to establish three renewable energy corridors across Queensland
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement this week at a “state of the states” address at an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia CEDA.
“We will map out areas within Queensland for investment in renewables – solar and wind – by supporting the delivery of transmission infrastructure,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“In Central Queensland – there’s potential for projects in the Fitzroy and Wide Bay renewable energy zones.
“These would make our aluminium and smelting industries more competitive with more renewable supply and strong potential for hydrogen development.”
Other planned corridors are across North Queensland and South West Queensland.
The aim is to support other renewable energy projects, including the Rodds Bay solar farm, which will contribute toward the government achieving its 50 per-cent renewable electricity target by 2030.
“My government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target has been critical to delivering the lowest wholesale energy prices on the east coast,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It has supported $6.6 billion of investment in solar and wind farms and 5,700 construction jobs over the past five years – taking Queensland’s renewable energy generation to 20 per cent by the end of the year, compared to just 7 per cent when we came to government.”
The announcement comes in the lead up to the October 31 state election, where electricity and electricity prices are set to be high on the agenda.
The Central Queensland Power CQP project, which is currently developing a 2,000MW plan for firmed wind and solar within what will become the Fitzroy Renewable Energy Zone REZ.
CQP is developing the project through engagement with the Queensland State Government, The Port of Gladstone, Gladstone Regional Council and Gladstone heavy industry companies.
“CQP strongly welcomes the Queensland Premier’s vision to support heavy industry, including aluminium smelting, through the development of the Fitzroy REZ,” Energy Estate chief adviser Simon Corbell said.
“In addition, the focus on creating new export fuels such as hydrogen and developing new, skilled, manufacturing jobs in the clean energy supply chain is strongly aligned with the CQP project vision.”
The Australian Conservation Foundation was another body to welcome the announcement.
“The announcement of a Renewable Energy Zone for central Queensland is especially welcome,” the ACF’s Jason Lyddieth said.
“Home to coal-fired power stations and a hub for heavy industry, Gladstone can make the transition to a low emissions future.” ACF campaigner Jason Lyddieth said
The plan coincides with the release of the report What Queensland Wants by The Next Economy.
The Next Economy claims the renewables sector in Queensland could create up to 50,000 jobs.
“Queensland is well placed to create new jobs and investment opportunities in a low-carbon economy, in fact regional Queensland is already taking action,” Next Economy CEO Dr Amanda Cahill said.
“From councils transforming their waste management processes, to industry adapting to the expansion of renewable energy and potential hydrogen and green metals production, the regions are leading the way.”