In June 2017 the Queensland Government released the Powering Queensland Plan, which confirms its commitment to achieving a 50% renewable energy target by 2030, and invest $386 million to strengthen and diversify North Queensland's energy supply, drive economic growth and support 5000 jobs. A large portion of that investment is a $150 million commitment to the development of strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North West Queensland to support a Clean Energy Hub, subject to a feasibility study.
The Energy Security Taskforce, established as part of the Powering Queensland Plan initiative, has the responsibility to commission the feasibility study of the strategic transmission infrastructure, and has instructed Powerlink to commence this work as a priority.
The feasibility study is focused on examining the concept of a Clean Energy Hub located between Einasleigh and Hughenden. The Clean Energy Hub will comprise one or more transmission assets developed to facilitate the connection of clean energy proponents in North and North West Queensland to the National Electricity Market.
Expressions of Interest (EOI) on the Clean Energy Hub closed on 8 September 2017. More than 30 EOIs were received from interested parties and we thank those who participated in the EOI process.
Powerlink is now assessing the EOIs, in collaboration with the Queensland Energy Security Taskforce (QEST) and the Queensland Government. This assessment will take into account technical, economic, environmental, social and regional considerations and inform which transmission options may deliver the greatest benefit.
The assessment of potential projects occurred during September / October 2017. Project-level information will be incorporated into the broader assessment of transmission options to occur through to November 2017.
The feasibility study will conclude with recommendations to the Queensland Government by late 2017 or early 2018 regarding the feasibility of, and optimal approach for, the Clean Energy Hub.
If deemed feasible, this initiative will play a key role in diversifying North Queensland's energy supply and potentially unlocking up to 2000 megawatts of renewable energy projects which would otherwise not be developed.
Contact Powerlink for more information.