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Renewable energy powerhouses invest in future

ADGSM reforms open for feedback according to minister Madeleine King.

The Queensland government aims to deliver on the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan with an investment of $19 billion over four years to support new wind, solar, storage and transmission.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this year’s budget empowers the state’s publicly owned energy entities to drive Queensland forward toward more affordable and more reliable renewable energy.

She said it represents the most significant investment ever in Queensland’s publicly owned electricity system and will help the government power Queensland with 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035.

“Whether it’s in hydrogen, batteries, wind, solar, hydro, traditional generation, transmission, distribution or most importantly Queenslanders themselves, this Budget invests to ensure the Plan delivers on our target of 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032,” Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said.

Publicly owned transmission titan Powerlink will invest $594 million in 2023-24 to kick-start the CopperString 2032 high voltage link that will unlock billions of dollars of new critical minerals mining in the North West Minerals Province and significant new renewables around Hughenden.

Powerlink will also invest $193.8 million in 2023-24 to support the connection of major renewable projects to the grid, including the proposed 2GW Borumba pumped hydro energy storage and Australia’s largest onshore wind project, the 1GW MacIntyre Wind Precinct south-west of Warwick.

In 2023-24, Energy Queensland’s $2 billion capital program is also focused on network reliability and renewable hosting capability and includes $150 million to continue the roll-out of network batteries, decarbonise isolated networks, and support renewable generation across Queensland, as well as $99.9 million for network replacement in the Mackay region.

This timeframe will also see Stanwell Corporation invest a further $221.2 million towards the development of the 252MW Wambo Wind Farm and $200 million to commence construction of its 100 per cent owned and operated Tarong West Wind Farm, as well as $251.8 million for new grid-scale batteries within Queensland’s southern and central Renewable Energy Zone regions.

CleanCo will continue to grow its renewable portfolio with a $171 million down-payment on the $500 million announced to support the development phase of new wind and solar projects in Central Queensland.

It will also invest $41.5 million to build and install a 250MW big battery at Swanbank Power Precinct near Ipswich, which is transitioning into a Clean Energy Hub with the potential for onsite solar and green hydrogen production facilities.

Queensland three publicly-owned generators are together investing around $384 million for upgrades and maintenance at existing state-owned power stations, safeguarding supply while renewable generation ramps up.

New player this year, Queensland Hydro, will invest $183.7 million to progress the 2GW Borumba Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project near Gympie, at the same time as undertaking the detailed feasibility study into the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project west of Mackay.

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