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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

Technology State Developer Project MW Invest- ment (A$m) Jobs
Wind SA Neoen and Megawatt Capital Hornsdale Stage 2 100 800 150
Wind SA Neoen and Megawatt Capital Hornsdale Stage 3 109    
Wind NSW Goldwind White Rock – Stage 1 175 400 300
Wind QLD RATCH Mt Emerald 180 380 150
Wind VIC Windlab Kiata 30 75 70
Solar WA APA Emu Downs 20 50 100
Wind and Solar SA EDL Coober Pedy 4 37  
Solar QLD Sunshine Coast Council Sunshine Coast Solar Farm 15 50 60
Solar NSW New Gullen Range Wind Farm Gullen Range Solar Farm 10 26 70
Solar QLD Conergy – Lakeland Solar & Storage P/L Lakeland Solar & Storage Project 10.8 42.5 60
Solar QLD FRV Clare Solar Farm 100 190 200
Solar QLD Genex Kidston Solar 50 126 100
Bagasse QLD MSF Sugar Tableland Sugar Mill 24 75 80
Wind VIC Pacific Hydro Yaloak South 29 130  
Wind VIC Acciona Mt Gellibrand – Stage 1 66 140 100
Wind NSW Partners Group and CWP Renewables Sapphire 270 588 200
Solar QLD Canadian Solar & Scouller Energy Normanton Solar Farm 5 14 20
Solar QLD Canadian Solar Longreach Solar Farm 17.4 31 30
Solar QLD Canadian Solar Oakey 1 Solar Farm 30 56 50

Large-scale renewable energy projects completed in 2017

Technology State Developer Project MW Investment (A$m) Jobs
Wind VIC RES, GE and Downer Ararat Wind Farm 240 450 165

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

Technology State Developer Project MW Investment (A$m) Jobs
Wind NSW Global Power Generation Australia Crookwell 2 91.0 140 100
Solar QLD Sun Metals Sun Metals Solar Farm 116.0 350 200
Solar QLD ESCO Pacific/Palisade Ross River 148.0 200 80
Wind and solar QLD Windlab Kennedy Energy Park 40.0 155 250
Wind NSW PARF Silverton 200.0 225 150
Solar QLD FRV Lilyvale 100.0 120 50
Solar SA Snowy Hydro Tailem Bend 100.0 460 150
Solar NSW Neoen Griffith, Parkes, Dubbo 110.0 400 200
Solar VIC Overland Sun Farming Yatpool, Iraak, Wemen 320.0 200 200
Solar NSW First Solar Manildra Solar Farm 48.5 230 250
Solar SA Lyon Group Riverland Solar Farm 330.0 500 200
Wind NSW Infigen Energy Bodangora Wind Farm 113.2    
Solar QLD Edify Energy Whitsunday Solar Farm 57.5 700 270
Solar SA Reach Solar Bungala Solar Project 220.0 263 120
Solar QLD Canadian Solar Oakey 2 SF 70.0 250 180
Total – Solar* 1922.2 3512.5 2540
Total – Wind* 1647.2 4016 1535
TOTAL – in progress, completed or will start in 2017 3549.4 MW $7446.5m 4105

*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

State Projects Capacity (MW) Investment (A$m) Jobs
Queensland 15 963 2224 1680
New South Wales 8 1017 2140 1170
Victoria 5 685 1295 535
South Australia 6 863 1737 620
Western Australia 1 20 50


Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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