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Queensland has opened registrations of interest for investment in three new renewable energy zones (REZ) in southern, central and northern Queensland.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the registrations of interest would be open for two weeks from Thursday 10 September for potential renewable energy generations and storage projects.

“Queensland has an economic plan for post-COVID recovery and affordable, reliable energy supply underpins that plan,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That plan includes investing in traditional infrastructure and supporting the renewables industry because that supports jobs.

“As part of that plan, I announced $145 million to unlock three Queensland renewable energy zones across Queensland – north Queensland, central Queensland and south west Queensland.

“These zones will coordinate and foster renewable development in the most suitable areas of Queensland by supporting the delivery of transmission infrastructure.

“As well, these zones will attract industrial energy users to create more jobs in regional Queensland.”

Queensland Energy Minister, Anthony Lynham, said the energy zone, as well as the $500 million Renewable Energy Fund recently announced by the Treasurer, will drive the next phase of renewable energy investment in Queensland to fuel its post-pandemic economic recovery.

“Since 2015, 41 large-scale renewable energy projects have launched in Queensland, representing around $7.8 billion in investment and 6500 construction jobs,” Dr Lynham said.

“I encourage all renewable generators, including wind, solar and green hydro, as well as renewable storage projects to come forward and show how they could play a role in Queensland’s renewable revolution.”

Chief Executive of the Smart Energy Council, John Grimes, said, “Renewable Energy Zones are the stepping stones to 50 per cent renewables. 

“These are exactly the sorts of initiatives that are needed to turn the Sunshine State into the Solar State.”

“The Palaszczuk Government continues to be a national leader in embracing renewables, unlocking investment, delivering jobs in regional communities and building new industries.”

Dr Lynham said responses from existing and new proponents would help determine the scale, location, and timing of potential state-funded infrastructure and developments.

“With the right planning, these zones will capitalise on existing projects, make the most of projects already in the pipeline and attract new investment,” Dr Lynham said.

“Through the Renewable Energy Fund we’re going to get more projects through the vital investment decision phase, and with the zones we’re going to help ensure those projects are working together to deliver a series of connected commercial and industrial power hubs across the state,” Dr Lynham said.

Registrations of interest for the renewable energy zones can be made here until Friday 25 September.

About the renewable energy zones

Southern Zone has driven most of the renewables investment in Queensland since 2016, thanks to strong network infrastructure and proximity to the South-East Queensland load centre. Diversification opportunities with the agricultural, and mining and resources sector will be a key focus of renewable energy development. 

Central Zone boasts strong network infrastructure, wind and solar resources, and a strong manufacturing and industrial demand profile. Renewable energy development will likely be aimed at capitalising on opportunities in industries such as new economy minerals extraction and processing, minerals recycling and agricultural equipment manufacturing.

Northern Zone has some of the strongest wind and solar resources in the state and significant potential for renewable energy development. This development will likely be aimed at capitalising on opportunities in industries such as new economy minerals extraction and processing, hydrogen production and export, biofuels and food processing and manufacturing.

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