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Queensland tender draws 6GW of energy storage, 6.4GW of solar PV project proposals

Queensland, Australia. Proposals included 2.2GW of wind, 6.4GW of solar and around 500MW of other renewable energy technologies. Flickr: Timothy Swinson.

Queensland’s tender for 400MW of large-scale renewables and 100MW of energy storage has received 115 proposals from 79 different entities spanning a wide range of technologies, according to the state's energy minister Mark Bailey.

Proposals included 2.2GW of wind, 6.4GW of solar and around 500MW of other renewable energy technologies for the Australian state.

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Bailey said: “A number of these projects could be first of a kind in Queensland, including concentrated solar thermal technology which provides dispatchable energy supply – like the Crescent Dunes facility in the Nevada desert, powering Las Vegas overnight.”

There were also 6GW of energy storage proposals, including a prominent number of batteries as well as technologies yet to be deployed in Australia.

Bailey added: “There is some real innovation in these proposals, as we have had interest from stand-alone projects as well as those integrated with renewable energy projects. The integration of storage with renewables is the future and particularly important to enable renewable energy to be dispatched in the market when it is required.”

The 9GW of renewable energy submissions were mostly dispersed across regional Queensland. Bailey highlighted that this was more than the current 8.2GW generated by coal-fired power stations, and expressed a belief that Queensland does not need a new coal-fired power station.

Shortlisted projects will be invited to participate in the final stage of the auction process due to start in November.

The tender, announced in June, is part of the state’s ‘Renewables 400’ scheme, under the AU$1.6 billion Powering Queensland Plan. Reports on the process from late August referred to “huge interest” in the auctions.

Bailey said: “We’ve received strong interest from local and overseas companies and it’s clear that investors are excited about the renewable energy boom happening in Queensland.”

More than half of the solar and wind projects in Australia that have achieved financial close this year are located in Queensland, according to Sustainable Energy Research Analytics (SERA).

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