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The Queensland Government has launched the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in Cairns, the first in the state.

The REZ includes permanently upgrading Powerlink’s existing 132kV transmission network between Townsville and Cairns to 275kV.

The network upgrade will support development of Neoen’s 157MW Kaban Green Power Hub wind farm at Ravenshoe, south of Cairns.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the state is continuing to reinforce its position as the nation’s renewable energy super power.

“Along with the Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage Project, this wind farm will power the North and keep Queensland on track to meet our 50 per cent renewables target by 2030,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the Kaban project would be the cornerstone for the Northern Queensland REZ.

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said Powerlink was proud to support delivery of Queensland’s first REZ and also deliver a more resilient transmission network for customers in the region.

“This transmission upgrade improves security of supply and makes the north’s network more storm and cyclone resilient,” Mr Simshauser said.

“We’d consider this a win win outcome for Powerlink, our customers in the region and renewable proponents looking to connect in this resource rich area.”

Neoen Australia Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said Neoen extended its sincere thanks to the Queensland Government, CleanCo, Powerlink and Vestas for their hard work and unfailing support which has enabled Kaban Green Power Hub to reach this important milestone.

“We are also grateful to those in the wider community who have advocated for the project and the benefits it will bring,” Mr de Sambucy said.

“We look forward to Kaban contributing to Queensland’s energy transition and to supporting the region’s recovery from COVID-19.”

For more information on the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, click here.

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