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Construction has begun to connect the Kaban Green Power Hub to the electricity grid in Queensland’s first Renewable Energy Zone (QREZ).

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment, Cameron Dick, said projects like Kaban would enable Queensland to maintain and strengthen its role as the energy powerhouse of the National Electricity Market.

“Queensland has long been the backbone of Australia’s energy grid, and our government’s commitment to developing a series of renewable energy zones across the state complements our existing generation strengths in renewables, coal and gas,” Mr Dick said.

“We know a clear energy and climate policy creates investment certainty for business, supporting growth in economic activity and employment.

“That’s why Queensland has seen over 5000MW of planned renewable investment, supporting 7000 construction jobs.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said Neoen’s $373 million investment in the Kaban Green Power Hub is the first of many renewable projects within the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, which adds an additional 500MW of capacity for solar and wind.

“Investment in renewables delivers cheaper and cleaner energy which are fundamental to creating more Queensland jobs and are a key component of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The work program will include building the Tumoulin switching station near Ravenshoe, almost 1,000m above sea level, making it the highest-situated infrastructure of its type in the state.

“The project will help harness our abundant wind resources and transport Kaban wind farm’s 157MW output across North Queensland.

“It builds on our $40 million investment announced by the premier in May to upgrade the transmission line between Cairns and Townsville from 132kV to 275kV.

“This project is indicative of the international investment pipeline that is supported by our clear commitment to reaching 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“But most importantly, it is the next step in a $700 million program of upgrades to the North Queensland network that Powerlink will carry out over the next five years.

“Upgrades that will open Far North Queensland to new investment and enable additional capacity for solar and wind in the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.

“Having a diverse energy mix means more reliable power, ensuring that our state can continue to expand its manufacturing base and deliver more secure jobs for Queenslanders.”

Neoen Australia Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said, “We are proud of the pivotal role the Kaban Green Power Hub is playing in establishing the Northern Queensland REZ and look forward to the project contributing to Queensland’s energy transition and to supporting the region’s recovery from COVID-19.”

CleanCo has signed a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) for Kaban, agreeing to buy 100 per cent of the wind farm’s renewable energy from the green power hub, and taking control of dispatch.

Construction of the Tumoulin switching station is expected to be complete by April 2022, requiring erection of three 80m towers traversing and then connecting to the existing 275kV transmission network.

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