Wind included in Queensland auction shortlist

Five wind projects, some with storage, have been included in a shortlist of ten projects in Queensland's reverse auction seeking 400MW of clean generation capacity in a bid to reach 50% renewables by 2030.

The 180MW Mount Emerald wind farm in Queensland is the largest in the state (pic: MEWF)
The 180MW Mount Emerald wind farm in Queensland is the largest in the state (pic: MEWF)

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Queensland’s Renewables 400 initiative, which is also seeking 100MW of storage capacity, received over 100 applications from developers.

They have now been whittled down to ten sites that will submit bids in a reverse auction process. Wind sites included in the shortlist are: Acciona’s 540MW MacIntyre site; Goldwind’s 800MW Clarke Creek project with a storage element; Infigen’s 65MW Forsayth Integrated Facility with a storage element; Neoen’s 130MW Kaban Green Power Hub with 100MW of storage; and Windlab’s 100MW Lakeland project.

The auction process will be managed by the new state-owned power company CleanCo. Following submission of the bids, CleanCo will make its recommendations to the government in early 2020. 

Queensland selected ten renewable projects, some with storage elements, to proceed to the reverse-auction

The state’s energy minister Anthony Lynham said the new generation will put "more downward pressure on electricity prices" in Queensland.

"Preliminary analysis indicates CleanCo should reduce wholesale electricity prices on average by around A$7/MWh ($4.89/MWh), which is expected to translate to an estimated A$70 ($48.86) per annum saving for the average Queensland household," Lynham said.

"This takes Queensland one step closer to our target of 50% renewable energy by 2030," he added.

Trade body, the Clean Energy Council (CEC), said the selected projects would provide Queensland "a much-needed boost".

"Reverse auction programs have proven extremely successful in the ACT and Victoria in helping the industry scale up and reduce the cost of building wind and solar projects in Australia," said CEC chief executive Kane Thornton.

"They encourage developers to out-bid each other to deliver the lowest possible price, meaning the Queensland Government will get the best possible value for any money it allocates towards supporting clean energy projects across the Sunshine State.

"The Australian Energy Market Commission predicts that wholesale power prices should fall over the next couple of years as a result of all the renewable energy being built, and a series of additional projects supported by the Queensland Government under Renewables 400 will help this dynamic even further," Thornton added.

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