Edify Energy secures federal approval for 600MW solar PV plant in Queensland

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The solar PV plant will also have a 200MW/800MWh energy storage battery built onsite. Image: Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works.

Australian renewables developer Edify Energy has secured federal approval on a 600MW solar PV plant in Central Queensland, Australia.

The project is expected to start construction in the first quarter of 2024 and be completed by Q3 2025.

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Storage capacity will also be built on site, according to the Banana Shire council, and will be 200MW output and 800MWh capacity (4-hour duration).

Tanya Plibersek, Australian Minister for the Environment and Water, said: “We’re making clear to industry that the decade of stalling and denial when it comes to the opportunities of renewables is over.”

Since Labor’s win at the federal election last year, with a pledge to make the country a renewables “superpower”, Australia is targeting 26GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030. For the 2023-2024 Australian Federal Budget, AU$4 billion (US$2.5 billion) was included towards new investment in the energy transition, which includes AU$1.3 billion for household energy upgrades, of which AU$1 billion will help provide low‑cost loans for double‑glazing, solar modules and other improvements to make homes easier and cheaper to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. This measure is expected to benefit 110,000 households.

Investments in renewables have not only come at the federal level; the Queensland government has set a target to bring 22GW of solar PV and wind projects by 2035, which will require a total of AU$62 billion investment. In order to achieve that target, the Queensland government is set to build 12 renewable energy zones (REZ) across the state, of which four in Central Queensland – where the Edify Energy project will be built – will host up to 8.2GW of renewable generation.

However, Australia is expected to face grid reliability issues over the next decade if it does not “urgently” invest in new transmission and generation projects, such as Queensland’s 6GW transmission project, dubbed ‘CopperString 2.0’, while Australia’s renewables association Clean Energy Council called on the Australian Government to come up with a response to the US’ Inflation Reduction Act and avoid the risk of losing thousands of jobs and international investment.

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