CEFC provides $160 million in finance to link upcoming wind energy precinct to grid

The federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has announced a $160 million investment to link the upcoming Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) to the national energy grid.

According to an announcement from the cleantech investment body, it is the first REZ it has funded, and the project “will unlock an additional 500 MW of new network hosting capacity.”

The funding will help the Queensland government-owned transmission company Powerlink to build and operate 65 kilometres of high-voltage (330 kilovolt) overhead power lines. 

“…[B]y backing Australia’s energy pioneers as they develop a REZ as part of a stronger, cleaner grid, we are supporting energy system transformation, which is critical to Australia’s transition to net zero emissions,” said Ian Learmonth, CEFC’s CEO, in a statement on Thursday. 

The new infrastructure will link 1,000 megawatts of renewable capacity from two wind farms in the planned MacIntyre Wind Precinct, to the electricity network.

According to the CEFC, a total of 180 turbines will generate enough power for 700,000 Queensland homes.

“The best way to put downward pressure on energy prices is to ramp up investment in renewables, transmission and storage,” said federal climate change minister Chris Bowen.

The SDEZ is one of three planned by the Queensland state government, which has a target of 50 per cent of energy from renewables by 2030.

Image credit: Queensland government

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