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Another $2 billion of renewable energy investment in unprecedented year

Another $2 billion of renewable energy investment in unprecedented year


More than $2 billion worth of renewable energy projects attracted financial commitment in the last three months, adding up to an unprecedented $7.4 billion in investment and more than 3300 MW of new renewable energy capacity which will be under construction or completed in 2017, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said a string of large-scale solar project announcements since February meant more than 4100 direct jobs would be created in a record-breaking year for new investment in the sector.

“Bringing on new forms of energy generation is necessary to ensure continued energy security as ageing coal-fired power continues to close. Thankfully, 35 large-scale renewable energy projects are now under construction in Australia. Large-scale renewable energy, combined with the continued strong uptake of rooftop solar and emergence of energy storage, provides a clear pathway for Australia’s future energy needs,” Mr Thornton said.

“Following announcements by Infigen Energy, Lyon Solar and Reach Solar Energy, there are now 35 projects that are already under construction, will start construction or have been completed in 2017.

“This adds up to 4105 direct jobs, more than $7.4 billion of investment and 3549.4 MW of new renewable energy capacity – the biggest program of works in the history of the industry.

“Large-scale solar technology has approximately halved in price over just the last few years, making it competitive not only with wind power but with fossil fuels such as gas.

“Renewable energy is now the cheapest kind of power generation it is possible to build today, and solar power plants have a relatively short project lead time compared to other technologies.

“Regional New South Wales and Queensland in particular will enjoy some of the biggest job and investment benefits, while the Victorian Government’s state target is expected to drive more project activity once finalised and legislated.

“Between 5-6000 MW of new generating capacity is required to meet the 2020 large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 33,000 gigawatt-hours. With over 3400 MW of new capacity now under construction and many more projects expected to be finalised in months ahead, industry is making excellent progress toward the 2020 target,” he said.

Mr Thornton said funding from the Federal Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has had a huge impact in driving down the costs of large-scale solar, along with the innovative finance packages developed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The support of state and territory governments has also been a big part of reducing costs and restoring confidence to the renewable energy sector, he said.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.

Large-scale renewable energy projects: Under construction

TechnologyStateDeveloperProjectMWInvest- ment (A$m)Jobs
WindSANeoen and Megawatt CapitalHornsdale Stage 2100800150
WindSANeoen and Megawatt CapitalHornsdale Stage 3109  
WindNSWGoldwindWhite Rock – Stage 1175400300
WindQLDRATCHMt Emerald180380150
SolarWAAPAEmu Downs2050100
Wind and SolarSAEDLCoober Pedy437 
SolarQLDSunshine Coast CouncilSunshine Coast Solar Farm155060
SolarNSWNew Gullen Range Wind FarmGullen Range Solar Farm102670
SolarQLDConergy – Lakeland Solar & Storage P/LLakeland Solar & Storage Project10.842.560
SolarQLDFRVClare Solar Farm100190200
SolarQLDGenexKidston Solar50126100
BagasseQLDMSF SugarTableland Sugar Mill247580
WindVICPacific HydroYaloak South29130 
WindVICAccionaMt Gellibrand – Stage 166140100
WindNSWPartners Group and CWP RenewablesSapphire270588200
SolarQLDCanadian Solar & Scouller EnergyNormanton Solar Farm51420
SolarQLDCanadian SolarLongreach Solar Farm17.43130
SolarQLDCanadian SolarOakey 1 Solar Farm305650

Large-scale renewable energy projects completed in 2017

TechnologyStateDeveloperProjectMWInvestment (A$m)Jobs
WindVICRES, GE and DownerArarat Wind Farm240450165

Large-scale renewable energy: Financial commitment, will start in 2017

TechnologyStateDeveloperProjectMWInvestment (A$m)Jobs
WindNSWGlobal Power Generation AustraliaCrookwell 291.0140100
SolarQLDSun MetalsSun Metals Solar Farm116.0350200
SolarQLDESCO Pacific/PalisadeRoss River148.020080
Wind and solarQLDWindlabKennedy Energy Park40.0155250
SolarSASnowy HydroTailem Bend100.0460150
SolarNSWNeoenGriffith, Parkes, Dubbo110.0400200
SolarVICOverland Sun FarmingYatpool, Iraak, Wemen320.0200200
SolarNSWFirst SolarManildra Solar Farm48.5230250
SolarSALyon GroupRiverland Solar Farm330.0500200
WindNSWInfigen EnergyBodangora Wind Farm113.2  
SolarQLDEdify EnergyWhitsunday Solar Farm57.5700270
SolarSAReach SolarBungala Solar Project220.0263120
SolarQLDCanadian SolarOakey 2 SF70.0250180
Total – Solar*1922.23512.52540
Total – Wind*1647.240161535
TOTAL – in progress, completed or will start in 20173549.4 MW$7446.5m4105

*Both totals include projects with combined wind + solar technologies. These double-counted projects include 20 MW capacity, $82 million and 30 jobs, which have been removed from the final total.

Distribution of large-scale renewable energy projects  by state

StateProjectsCapacity (MW)Investment (A$m)Jobs
New South Wales8101721401170
South Australia68631737620
Western Australia12050


Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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