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 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|
|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
|Wind||VIC||RES, GE and Downer||Ararat Wind Farm||240||450||165|
Large-scale renewable energy: Financial commitment, will start in 2017
|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|
|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|
|New South Wales||8||1017||2140||1170|