Queensland Government triples its commitment to solar energy

The state government of Queensland, Australia, has tripled its election commitment to provide long-term financial support for solar energy, up to 120 MW of installed large-scale solar generation.   ,
Queensland Government triples its commitment to solar energy

During a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, USA, Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the expanded commitment would provide the state’s electricity network with a large-scale supply of renewable energy and continue to stimulate solar energy investment.

“Developing and expanding Queensland’s renewable energy industry is a central component of my Government’s energy policy agenda, and will create new jobs and diversify the economy” Ms Palaszczuk said. “In August 2015, we upped our solar election commitment from 40 MW to 60 MW, and we have now committed to 120 MW of solar projects. This commitment extends Government’s push for investment in new, large-scale solar generation developments in Queensland. Last week, my Government also announced Ergon’s power purchase agreement for the development of the 170MW Mount Emerald wind farm in far North Queensland.”

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey added that Queensland was quickly transitioning from the Sunshine State to the Solar State with the Solar 120 programme expected to create hundreds of regional construction jobs, boost investment, act on climate change and deliver value for both customers and government. Those projects shortlisted by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) that go on to secure federal support will become eligible for State Government funding. This will complement ARENA’s programme which will provide upfront capital grants to construct major renewable energy generators. The combination of the two initiatives will lower the cost of large-scale solar and remove obstacles such as financing and commercial viability to support the growth of large-scale solar in Queensland.

The announcement has been welcomed by the Australian Clean Energy Council (CEC). CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton said it was fantastic to see the Queensland Government stepping up to support major renewable energy projects in the Sunshine State and recognising the economic benefits they could deliver.

“Queensland households and businesses have already installed the most solar power in the country, and the news that the state government will increase its commitment to purchase the renewable energy from 120 megawatts of large-scale solar is obviously very welcome” Mr Thornton said. This commitment of course leverages the great work of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the critical financial support it is providing for the deployment of large-scale solar throughout Australia.”

Mr Thornton added that the Queensland Government’s commitment to its 50 per cent state renewable energy target is obvious, given the announcement of the 170 MW Mt Emerald Wind Farm last week. Currently, there is a big pipeline of renewable energy projects across Australia, but many of them are being held up in negotiations with retailers and large energy users to purchase the power they produce. Mr Thornton said that support like that announced by the government is exactly what is needed to get the market moving again and will certainly make it more attractive for investors.

For additional information:

Queensland Government

Clean Energy Council (CEC)

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