The state-owned company, which currently owns a number of coal mines and coal fired power plants, is looking to position itself for the inevitable net-zero emissions future. The move follows the State Government’s allocation of $500 million to the Renewable Energy Fund for more publicly-owned clean energy generation.
Specifically, Stanwell is looking to hear from large-scale wind and solar projects, especially those integrated with storage, though it is also “open to hearing from innovative new energy solutions.” It is also open to projects at various stages of development and has not set a total megawatt target.
“We are looking at mature projects which have a capacity of 100 MW in aggregate for the stages and early stage projects above 50 MW,” a spokesperson for Stanwell told pv magazine Australia.
While in its statement Stanwell says it is “casting the net nationwide,” it goes on to specify it is particularly interested in projects based in Queensland.
The expression of interest process opens from today, and Stanwell says interested projects should register their interest before March 24, 2021.
“The energy market is changing rapidly, and we are evolving our business in line with our customers’ changing needs and community sentiment for greener energy and lower emissions,” Stanwell CEO Richard Van Breda said in a statement.
“Through our expression of interest process, we will build a portfolio of renewable projects that meet our retail customer requirements, support the development of Queensland’s large-scale renewable industry, and enable us to diversify our portfolio and reduce our carbon intensity.”
Community group Solar Citizens has applauded the decision. “For decades Queenslanders have voted to keep the majority of the electricity system in public hands, but so far it has mainly been the private sector that has seized the opportunities to develop and operate new solar, wind and storage plants,” Solar Citizens’ National Director Ellen Roberts said.
“We’ve just recently seen the state’s coal and gas assets decrease their value by over a whopping $1 billion as more cheap solar and wind energy comes online. It’s likely that they’re heading for early retirement. The state-owned generators need to act fast to diversify their revenue to continue to provide returns for Queenslanders.”
Stanwell’s announcement comes just one day after the Queensland Government declared it will establish a Ministerial Energy Council to work with government to deliver for the future energy needs of the State. Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni office released a statement on Tuesday saying it will bring together energy sector leaders, industry bodies, consumer groups and unions and government leaders to transition the state to cleaner energy.
“This decade will herald a significant adjustment in the way energy is produced, distributed and stored,” Minister de Brenni said. “Making it vital that we collaborate, so that Queenslanders can continue to receive stable, reliable, low cost energy generation and supply.”
For more information on the expression of interest process, visit the QTenders website and search reference “Renewable Energy Projects EOI” or contact renewablesEOI@stanwell.com.
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