PowerLink signs 500MW solar project, sees 30GW in pipeline

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Queensland transmission company signs connection deal for first stage of 500MW solar project, and sees 30GW pipeline of renewables in the state.

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Workers celebrate connection of Clare solar farm.

The sheer scale of Queensland’s renewable energy potential has been highlighted by state-owned transmission company Powerlink, which says it has received enquiries about 30GW of new generation project, almost all of them renewables.

Powerlink on Thursday it had signed a connection agreement with Pacific Hydro for the first stage of the Haughton solar farm, what could be a 500MW project.

But it is just one of 150 potential projects across the state, totalling 30GW (30,000MW) that have approached Powerlink about connection opportunities, according to its CEO Merry York.

“We also have more than 150 enquiries or applications to connect totalling nearly 30,000MW and almost all of them are from renewable sources,” she said in a statement.

As RenewEconomy reported exclusively on Monday, the state’s biggest solar farm to date – the 100MW (AC) Clare solar farm, near Ayr in north Queensland, has begun exporting into the grid.

The 15MW Longreach solar farm has also joined the grid, while final commissioning is about to take place on the 124MW Sun Metals solar farm, which will power the company’s zinc refinery near Townsville.

In recent months, the 50MW Kidston solar farm, the 15MW Valdora solar farm on the Sunshine Coast, and the 11MW Dunblane solar farm near Barcaldine have also joined the grid.

These are just some of a number of new wind and solar projects that are expected to join the state’s grid over the next 12 months, giving the state a flying start to its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,

“Queensland’s large-scale renewable energy capacity is set to double over the next 12 months, as our $20 billion pipeline of committed and potential renewable projects starts to deliver,” state energy minister Dr Anthony Lytham said.

“Confidence in the Palaszczuk Government’s renewable energy credentials and commitment is fuelling unprecedented investment, and we know there’s plenty more on the horizon.”

A total of more than $4.2 billion worth of large scale renewable energy projects are currently either under construction or financially committed.

This will offer a combined employment injection of more than 3500 construction jobs across regional Queensland and more than 2000 MW of power.

“Powerlink expects to connect another 11 committed large-scale renewable projects over the next 12 months across the state, representing about 1600MW of renewable generation,” York said.

The Haughton project, some 60kms south of Townsville, will be Pacific Hydro’s first in Queensland.

Pacific Hydro has obtained planning approval from the Burdekin Shire Council for up to 500MW of solar generation on the 1200 hectare site, although stage one of the project is likely to be limited to 100MW.

It will create 250 construction jobs and ip to 10 permanent operational jobs, while Powerlink’s grid connection works will support another 43 jobs.

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. john 4 months ago

    I after the other this will happen in Australia which has good solar resources once the day time power is totally taken up by Solar PV then it is time to build PHES to save the power as well as Concentrated Solar and Storage to further extend the free power to supply power 24/7.
    PHES and Concentrated Solar and Storage is doable and will happen.

  2. DJR96 4 months ago

    And the troglodyte politicians still demand a new coal-fired generator in North Queensland!?!

    • RobertO 4 months ago

      Hi DJR96, The coal ash group (RWNJ’s) would say “Yes we must spend our tax payers money!” Bunch of Turkeys comes to my mind. We may need to spend a little bit on transmissions pathways, but if production is so cheep then transmission for some may be a good option, other may be better suited to H2 production, and others to PHES or batteries.

      • DJR96 4 months ago

        Ultimately the entire network will have to be able to operate without synchronous generation controlling (forming) it. So any additions needs to work towards that happening.
        With the right players and conditions in place, that could be done for about $3b. And then we’d have a network capable of hosting any proportion of renewables, and be extremely stable and secure.
        But that takes forward thinking. Not backwards……..

  3. Radbug 4 months ago

    What about the roof over my local shopping mall?

  4. Edgar 4 months ago

    With the enormous number of projects on the go, creating real jobs and injecting real money into the local economy, why are “Tony & the God-Squad” unable to see the potential??

    Must be costing Adani and the coal companies a pretty good quid to keep them onside.

    (Unless of course, they are dumb enough to do it for free!)

  5. Ian 4 months ago

    This is so amusing, 2000MW, plus 1600MW, plus home roof top solar, plus commercial rooftop solar plus some wind farms, plus a $20 billion pipeline – all just in Queensland. Are we talking about a 50% target for renewables or a 50% handbrake to prevent further renewables development?

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