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Hundreds register interest in Qld renewables + storage auction

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The Queensland government’s reverse auction for 400MW of large-scale renewable energy generation and storage looks set to attract a record amount of tenders, with more than 200 businesses registering interest in the scheme ahead of its formal opening to expressions of interest later this week.

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The reverse auction, part of the Labor Palaszczuk government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan, will help the state meet its target of sourcing 50 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.

The tender will see companies bid for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which will be situated in the regions.

Acting energy minister Curtis Pitt said the industry had until 5pm on Monday to register their interest, before an expression of interest process opened on Thursday 31 August.

“There has already been significant interest in our Renewables 400 program, with 201 businesses registered so far including project developers, investors and local small businesses,” Pitt said.

“Under this new initiative, we will support companies wanting to build the next generation of large-scale renewable and energy storage projects in Queensland.”

The response, while huge, is perhaps not surprising, considering the number of big solar and wind projects already crowding the development pipeline in the Sunshine State.

According to Reneweconomy data, there are 17 large scale solar projects alone that are under construction in the state, or about to begin construction, and a further 40 large scale solar projects that have gained planning approval or are in the process of doing so.

And there are several significant wind projects also in the pipeline or about to begin construction, along with some pumped hydro and biomass proposals.

The level of interest in storage projects also promises to be strong, considering the huge responses to the recent energy storage tenders held in Victoria and South Australia.

In April, a call for expressions of interest in a 20MW/80MWh battery storage array to be built in western Victoria, attracted some 110 proposals, more than two-thirds of which were considered credible.

And earlier in that same month, the first stage of the South Australian government’s ground breaking battery storage tender garnered more than 90 proposals.

“We all agree that energy storage technology will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and we are keen to see the benefits of this new investment flow into the Queensland economy,” said Pitt

“Not only are we encouraging investment in Queensland, but we’re also supporting diversity in renewable generation supply which is an important for our future energy security.”

Pitt said successful bidders in the auction would be awarded financial contracts with the government for some or all of the electricity they generate, thus providing the long-term certainty projcets need to secure finance.

“The criteria to select successful bidders will include not only price but also support for local businesses and jobs and with a view to creating a diverse mix of renewable energy generation and storage to support a secure, reliable and affordable supply of electricity into the future.”

Expressions of Interest for the Renewables 400MW process open on Thursday 31 August. For more information on the or to submit an EOI visit www.dews.qld.gov.au  

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  • Joe

    How does QLD Labor square the RE push whilst at the same time backing that ‘Environmental Abomination’…the Adani mega coalmine.

    • john

      There will be no need to worry about it because it will not get off the ground because it is financially nonviable.
      No bank will finance it the company is broke, I can not seen this ever happening.

      • Joe

        Yep, the Adani business, this is what we all hope is the outcome. But Premier Annastacia is not opposing the project which must give Adani some hope of progressing.

        • trackdaze

          I dont think Adani even wants it to go through.

          Its a balance sheet play from 2011 when coal was peaking.

          Now if it writes it off the company tanks.

      • Joe

        John an update. I read in my Sydney Morning Herald dated 29/08/2017 a report that Mr Gautam Adani has announced that building the coal mine will start in October. This is after last Friday’s Federal Court decision to dismiss appeals to stop the mine going ahead.

    • John Saint-Smith

      In order to understand this bizarre cognitive dissonance, you would have to appreciate the ecstatic intensity of feeling in the North Queensland electorate, which sees the Adani Mega mine as something akin to the holy grail. Even today the Mayor of Rockhampton was salivating at the prospect of all the FiFo jobs that would flow from the moment the first sod is turned on Carmichael. Tell them that the mine is not going ahead and there will be weeping and wailing and rending of garments.

      What is really disturbing to me is that these ‘true believers’ ( in NQ and George St.) can’t see the absurdity of digging up and burning more and more coal past 2040, in relation to the 50,000 North Queensland jobs that depend on the on-going health of the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical coastal environment it protects.

    • trackdaze

      They think its a permission slip?

    • Ken Dyer

      Interesting question Joe. You will see little mention of the renewable storage auction in the Queensland Murdoch dominated print media, or the fact that a one gigawatt wind farm is being built at Wandoan. This is the only piece I can find about that world leading project.

      http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/1000-megawatt-equis-energy-solar-farm-approved-in-western-queensland/news-story/e196572be7cf2675d7c84640226c3529

      As for Adani, it is all smoke and mirrors whilst they are hanging out for a billion of taxpayers money from the NAIF (www.naif.gov.au). The Queensland Government has not spent a cent on them, despite all sorts of announcements which are all political, and are dependant on the Adani mine actually starting to produce, which it never will, despite the delusions of the true believers in North Queensland.

      Unless, of course, that Italian MP, Matt Canavan, gets back into Parliament and manages to convince the NAIF to spend your taxpayer dollars.

      We can only hope that the Palaszczuk Government gets up with a majority at the coming State elections, or Queensland will face another four years of minority government bullshit, with Labor fighting off the Liberal red necks and the One Nation clowns, whilst pandering to the Adani absurdity, or worse, another dose of a Campbell Newman or Jo Bjeilke Peterson type Liberal Government to drag Queensland back into the dark ages.

      • Joe

        …there is always triple citizenship dude QLD One Nation Sen. (is he Indian or Pommie or Aussie) Malcolm Roberts to help his ‘Indian Brother’, Mr Adani, give the coalmine a little push along.

  • john

    Another State just getting on with it.
    I think however it is time for PHES to be included in these proposals.
    Perhaps even use the recent South Australian model to store the energy as molten salt.
    Note it is not Salt as we know it just a term to describe it.