The Queensland government is calling for expressions of interest for the North Queensland Clean Energy Hub feasibility study, part of its A$386 million ($303 million; €257 million) Power North Queensland Plan.
The Clean Energy Hub is a proposed transmission link connecting renewable power generation facilities in north and north-west Queensland to the national electricity market. The state government has allocated A$150 million to developing the strategic electricity transmission infrastructure, subject to the feasibility study.
The four-week EOI process, conducted by electricity provider Powerlink, will seek market information on a range of aspects, including potential generation interest, storage options, and significant load requirements, according to Curtis Pitt, the state treasurer and acting minister for energy.
As illustrated in the Power North Queensland Plan, part of the indicative transmission route will pass through renewable energy facilities such as Ross River Solar Farm, Kennedy Energy Park, Kidston Solar and Hydro projects, and Mount Emerald Wind Farm.
The project is expected to unlock up to 2GW of renewable energy projects by addressing the transmission connection costs and thus play a key role in diversifying the region’s energy supply. It shall help the state achieve a 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030.
“This is all part of our plan to unlock a wave of energy projects to power the North Queensland economy and support 5,000 jobs,” said Pitt. “It will drive cost savings by generating economies of scale through multiple generators and loans sharing transmission infrastructure rather than seeking individual network connections.”