The Queensland Government is calling for expressions of interest for the build of the North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project (NWQHPP) in the Mount Isa region.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the call was out for Queenslanders to build what could be Australia’s largest hybrid generator, generating 50MW of cleaner, cheaper energy.

“The Palaszczuk Government is supportive of new clean energy innovation on the path to our 50 per cent renewable energy target,” Mr de Brenni said.

“That’s why our publicly owned generator Stanwell is partnering with Vast Solar to develop feasibility options for electrifying the resources sector with dispatchable, low-cost, reliable clean energy.

“The development of the proposed NWQHPP will need a highly-skilled workforce during the two-year build and dozens of permanent skilled jobs over the 30-year life of the plant.

“Importantly, the proposed project will align to the Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Queensland procurement approach, meeting the highest standards around local content, local workforce and decent wages and conditions.

“It will demonstrate how renewables can provide continuous energy to power large industrial and resource businesses in the North West, because that ultimately means more Queensland jobs.

“This is another vote of confidence from industry that Queensland is the place to invest in the future of energy.”

Vast Solar CEO, Craig Wood, said the project was calling for expressions of interest from contractors across a range of workstreams.

“This is another significant milestone as we work through the feasibility study and get closer to turning soil on site,” Mr Wood said.

“We are looking forward to hearing from a range of contractors who will be critical in bringing this project to life.

“Building the plant will require collaboration between local, regional and national experts from a range of fields, and will involve hundreds of workers from Mount Isa and the surrounding area.

“Vast Solar has been engaging local contractors to deliver various services at the proposed project site since July 2020, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to providing local employment opportunities.

“We’re ensuring the project is developed in conjunction with local contractors and government wherever possible.”

Vast Solar and Stanwell announced a joint development agreement to undertake the $10 million feasibility study for the NWQHPP in March 2021.

The joint study is expected to be completed in late 2021, which is one of several milestones to be reached in order to reach final investment decision and project approval.

Mount Isa could start to benefit from low cost, reliable, clean energy from 2023 as part of a staggered construction program that brings some elements of the hybrid power plant into operations early.

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