Shortlist For Queensland’s Renewables 400 Reverse Auction Announced

CleanCo - renewable energy auction

It’s been around two years in the making so far, but the Queensland Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction is now another step closer.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced this morning CleanCo would commence trading in the national electricity market on October 31 and complete the Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction.

CleanCo is the state’s new publicly-owned low- and zero-emissions focused electricity generator, which involves restructuring Queensland’s two publicly-owned electricity generation companies into three. Legislation for CleanCo was introduced to State Parliament in February this year.

CleanCo’s initial assets include the Wivenhoe and Swanbank E power stations near Ipswich, along with three hydro power stations in the state’s Far North. The inclusion of Swanbank E raised a few eyebrows as that is a gas-fired electricity generator; which some would argue doesn’t qualify as being “low emissions”.

CleanCo’s initial portfolio should have some company soon; well, reasonably soon.

Under the Powering Queensland Plan, the reverse auction is seeking 400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, including 100 megawatts of energy storage. An expression of interest process that closed on 25 September 2017 resulted in 115 project proposals representing more than 15,000 megawatts of capacity, so there was no shortage of interest.

Renewables 400 Shortlist

Shortlisted for the provision of binding bids for supply of renewable energy are:

  • ACCIONA Australia – MacIntyre Wind Farm at Stanthorpe (540MW, no storage)
  • Edify Energy – Majors Creek Solar Farm at Woodstock (200MW solar, storage capacity unknown)
  • First Solar Australia – Chinchilla Solar Farm (100MW solar, storage capacity unknown)
  • Goldwind Australia – Clarke Creek Wind Farm  (between Rockhampton and Mackay – 800MW, storage capacity unknown)
  • Infigen Energy – Forsayth Integrated Facility (Wind – 65MW, storage capacity unknown)
  • Lyon Infrastructure Investment – Cape York Solar Storage at Lakeland (55MW solar, up to 20MW/80MWh battery storage)
  • Neoen Australia – Kaban Green Power Hub at Ravenshoe (Wind – 130MW, up to 100MW storage)
  • Pacific Hydro Australia Developments – Haughton Solar Farm near Townsville (100MW, storage capacity unknown)
  • Vena Energy – Collinsville North Solar (100MW, storage capacity unknown)
  • Windlab – Lakeland Wind Farm (100MW, no storage)

After the bids are submitted and reviewed, CleanCo will recommend projects to the Government; but that won’t happen until early next year.

The Minister also used the announcement to take a shot at the Liberal National Party of Queensland, which has previously stated CleanCo is a “PR stunt” and won’t reduce electricity prices.

“Unfortunately, the LNP has refused to support this program,” said Dr. Lynham. “Going by their track-record in government, when not one large scale renewable energy project was built, there’s no doubt they’ll see CleanCo as another Queensland-owned energy asset to sell.”

According to Dr. Lynham, preliminary analysis indicates CleanCo should reduce wholesale power prices by $7 per megawatt hour on average, which is expected to translate to savings for the average Queensland household of an estimated $70 each year.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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