North Queensland's renewable energy sector is booming with $5 billion in projects currently in the pipeline to create more than 5,000 Megawatts of electricity and support 3,200 jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning told Queensland Parliament that the Australian Solar Council and Battery Storage Council estimates represented a vote of confidence in Queensland and her government's policies, which are facilitating unprecedented renewable investment in Queensland.
“From the 5 Megawatt Scouller Energy solar farm near Normanton, to the 180 Megawatt Mt Emerald Wind Farm and the 250 Megawatt Genex Kidston Pumped Hydro project, these projects represent an extraordinary amount of investment in an industry that barely existed two and a half years ago,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They also represent an extraordinary vote of confidence in my government’s policies, including our commitment to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
“Through our $386 million Powering North Queensland Plan, we are also committed to working closely with industry to develop new projects that mean more jobs, more energy production and more downward pressure on electricity bills.
“The Plan will reinvest $150 million in dividends from our electricity assets – which we own – to build the transmission infrastructure necessary to connect these renewable projects to the grid.”
The Premier said the Powering North Queensland Plan also included:
- a $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam, supporting up to 200 jobs; and
- a further $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, also supporting the proposed hydro-electric power station.
“The injection of investment and jobs in renewable energy across this state is almost exclusively devoted to regional and rural areas where additional economic activity is amplified,” the Premier said.
“The investment ensures we can offer secure and affordable electricity for Queensland homes and Queensland businesses far into the future.”