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Published on February 14th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill


2017 Could Be A “Huge Year” For Large-Scale Renewables In Australia

February 14th, 2017 by  

2017 is shaping up to be a “huge year” for the development of large-scale renewables in Australia, with up to 2,250 megawatts worth of new development under construction, according to information provided by the country’s Clean Energy Council this week.

More than 20 large-scale renewable energy projects are apparently already under construction or are scheduled to commence construction in 2017, which in turn are expected to create almost 3,000 direct jobs and generate an impressive $5 billion in investments.

These are the highlights of new analysis provided by Australia’s Clean Energy Council, which claims 2017 could see the largest addition of generating capacity since the Snowy Hydro Scheme more than 50 years ago — one of the most iconic building projects in Australia’s history.

“We are set for a huge 2017, with more than 20 projects either under construction or which have secured funding and will go to construction this year,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton. “This investment is occurring due to the extraordinary cost reductions achieved in renewable energy, underpinned by the bipartisan support for the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) as well as support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and various initiatives of state and territory governments.”

Renewable energy, while wildly cost efficient in recent years, is also of particular value in a country as wide and spread-out as Australia — with its dense coastal populations and more regional and rural inner-country population centres.

“Given the nature of renewable energy projects, regional parts of the country will benefit from many of these job opportunities, while the projects will provide flow-on benefits to the many different businesses involved,” explained Thornton. “This new wind and solar power will help our system cope during periods where everyone is using electricity. As we saw in New South Wales during the heatwaves a few days ago, every generator counts when the heat is on.”

The expected projects are split into two categories — projects already under construction, and projects set to begin construction in 2017:

Projects under construction

WindSANeoen / Megawatt CapitalHornsdale Stage 2 & 3209$800m150201773
WindNSWGoldwind AustraliaWhite Rock Stage 1175$400m200201770
WindQLDRATCHMt Emerald180$380m150201863
SolarWAAPAEmu Downs20$50m1002017
Wind / SolarSAEDLCoober Pedy4$37m20172
SolarQLDSunshine Coast CouncilSunshine Coast Solar Farm15$50m602017
SolarNSWGoldwind AustraliaGullen Range Solar Farm10$26m702017
SolarQLDLakeland Solar & Storage P/L (Conergy)Lakeland Solar and Storage10.8$42.5m602017

Projects with financial commitment – to start construction in 2017

WindVICACCIONAMt Gellibrand – Stage 166$140m100Q122
WindNSWPartners Group / CWP RenewablesSapphire270$350m200Q175
WindNSWUnion FenosaCrookwell 291$200m80Q233
SolarQLDSun Metals P/LSun Metals Solar Farm100$155m250Q2
SolarQLDESCO PacificRoss River Solar Farm135$225m150Q2
Wind / SolarQLDWindlabKennedy Energy Park40$120m50Q310
SolarQLDGenexKidston Solar Farm50$126m100Q1
SolarQLDFRVClare Solar Farm100$190m200Q2
WindNSWPowering Australian Renewables FundSilverton Wind Farm200$460m150Q158
SolarQLDFRVLilyvale Solar Farm100$400m200Q3
SolarSASnowy HydroTailem Bend100$200m200Q4
SolarNSWNeoenThree projects: Dubbo, Parkes and Griffith110$230m250Q4
Totals (both tables)2256$5106.5m2955

“Renewable energy is now the cheapest type of new energy generation that it is possible to build today, we have a strong program of works, and Australians are very much on board with the transition of our energy sector to one which is smarter and cleaner,” Mr Thornton concluded.

“However, clarity on long-term energy policy and support for renewable energy beyond 2020 will be essential to ensure these levels of investment are sustained.”



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