Queenslanders to take more ownership over clean energy target

JOINT STATEMENT

Queenslanders will build Australia’s largest publicly owned wind farm in the South Burnett, after the Premier today announced a funding injection of $776 million for the project.

Ahead of the biggest energy and climate change announcement in Queensland’s history this week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone today to announce the major project which would see publicly owned Stanwell Corporation build the Tarong West Wind Farm.

“This project with up to 150 turbines could generate 500MW capacity, enough clean electricity to power up to 230,000 homes,” the Premier said.

“It will also create around 200 jobs during construction and 15 ongoing jobs when operational.

“It’s investments like this that will ensure we deliver on our net-zero ambitions and our promise to Queenslanders to become a global renewable energy superpower.”

The Premier said since becoming Premier in 2015, her government has been working hard to ensure Queenslanders have a clean energy future.

“After a renewable energy black out under the former LNP government, we now have 50 renewable energy projects operating or committed across Queensland,” the Premier said.

“That’s billions of dollars already invested in setting us up to capitalize on the jobs, industries, and exports of the future.

“We are now focused on what the next decade will look like, and I’ll have a lot more to say on this in this week’s CEDA State of the State address.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Tarong West project, funded from the $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund would boost Stanwell’s current asset portfolio and is expected to provide substantial commercial value.

“Ownership of Tarong West Wind Farm ensures Stanwell Corporation will have dispatch control of significant renewable generation capacity,” he said.

“In the past four years, the Palaszczuk Government has delivered up to $575 of dividends to Queensland electricity customers via asset ownership dividends and cost of living rebates.

“All that money – nearly $1.19 billion – has gone back into the pockets of Queenslanders instead of corporate shareholders.

“That’s only possible because Queenslanders own a significant stake in the state’s electricity assets.”

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said renewable energy was the cheapest form of electricity.

“Today’s funding announcement shows Queenslanders that the Palaszczuk Government is serious about becoming a global renewable energy powerhouse,” Minister de Brenni said.

“It provides assurance that Queensland will be able to deliver on its promise of affordable and reliable power for new industries and new manufacturing sectors in the clean energy era of tomorrow

“By growing our publicly owned portfolio of clean energy generation, it means Queenslanders will continue to control their energy system as it transforms to lower emissions.”

The proposed Tarong West Wind Farm, at Ironpot 30 kilometres south west of Kingaroy, sits within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, one of three designated regions established across the state to accelerate clean energy projects.

Tarong West Wind Farm could be built in a strategic partnership with global renewable energy giant RES which has over 40 years of experience in clean electricity projects and is now active in 10 countries.

RES Australia-based CEO Matt Rebbeck said the company was excited about the prospect of helping Queensland build more clean energy projects.

“Our vision is a future where everyone has access to affordable zero-carbon energy,” he said.

Stanwell CEO Michael O’Rourke said the commitment marked a significant milestone for the publicly owned corporation.

“The Tarong West Wind Farm project supports decarbonisation of our existing portfolio and will help us to meet our customers’ demand for renewable energy products.

“It will also provide future career development opportunities for our people.”

A final decision on the Tarong West Wind Farm is expected in 2024. If approved, construction would also commence in 2024, with commercial operations from 2026.

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