25 Aug QLD’s 100MW Energy Storage Auction
The Queensland Labor government has begun its large scale energy storage auction (Renewables 400 Auction) and called for early registration of companies wanting to tender for the installation of up to 100MW of energy storage and 400MW of new solar and wind farms before 2020.
The auction was officially launched in early August and forms part of the Palaszczuk Government’s ‘Powering Queensland Plan’ which aims to assist the state meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 – a scheme worth $1.6 billion.
The Premier visited the Brisbane factory of lead-acid battery maker Century Batteries and said the plan included a “specific process” to secure up to 100MW of energy storage before 2020. It is expected the Century Batteries will apply for the upcoming reverse auction and the Premier said she welcomed Century Batteries’ interest in key initiatives of her Government.
“Energy storage will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and this process will support the accelerated deployment of this important technology,” the Premier said.
Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt explained that through the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – the majority of which would be located in the state’s regions.
“This early registration provides adequate time to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running when the process opens,” Minister Pitt said.
“Successful bidders will be awarded financial contracts with the government for some or all of the electricity they generate which will provide them with long-term certainty allowing them to secure the financing required to deliver their project.”
“The ‘reverse’ nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.”
Priority will be given to projects that supported local jobs and businesses, 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.”
In this way, he said, the Palaszczuk government hoped to continue the “unprecedented momentum” in new renewable energy investment and energy storage that had finally begun to gather across the state, which up until recently, Australia’s “Sunshine State” – has had very little large-scale renewable energy to speak of.
The past 18 months has seen 17 new projects financially committed in Queensland, including $2.3 billion of investment and 2,200 construction jobs.
“Energy is undergoing a transformational change in the way it is generated, transported and used and as a government, you have to plan for that and not stick your head in the sand and pretend our only option is expensive coal-fired power stations anymore,” he said on Monday.
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