Renewables developers RES and Energy Estate have revealed the first stage of what will become a huge renewable energy generation and storage hub in Central Queensland. The hub is intended to supply electricity to heavy industry in the area, including the aluminum smelter in Boyne Island.
The developers said that the Moah Creek Renewable Energy Project will be located 30km west of Rockhampton and that it will be the first stage of a 2GW renewables hub – the Central Queensland Power Project (CQP).
A hopeful future
The Moah Creek part of the project will involve 400MW of wind power and 200MW of solar, together with a 300MW big battery – storage hours are to be determined later. This project is in its infancy, with community meetings starting in late September.
RES and Energy Estate believe that the power project will help to transition Central QLD’s power supply to firmed-up renewables and thereby help to secure the region’s heavy industries for the future.
Moah Creek has good wind speeds, is close to transmission lines and transport links, so is the ideal location for such an endeavour, especially as it’ll involve minimal disruption to the environment and community.
The Moah Creek facility would be located close to the Stanwell coal fired power station, and among the major industrial loads in the area are the Boyne smelter and various proposed green hydrogen/ammonia projects in Gladstone.
New jobs, clean energy
The CQP will, say the developers, use their joint experience and strengths and will bring new jobs and cheap, clean energy to the region’s heavy industries, making them more competitive.
The project is one of several gigawatt-scale hybrid proposals springing up throughout Australia. These projects are necessary to replace the aging coal plants and also to supply cheap, clean electricity to heavy industry and to renewables-powered hydrogen and ammonia facilities.
Smelters and refineries are cleaning up their acts
The country’s bigger smelters and refineries have historically relied on coal or gas generation for their electricity, but are now turning towards solar and wind. Solar and wind provide cheap energy that’s also clean, which is a winner with customers. Renewables can also be firmed up much more easily now, which makes the supply reliable and secure.