Australia’s renewable energy zones are finally becoming a reality, with Victoria and Queensland both seeking inputs – the former from projects wanting to be part of its western zones’ development while Queensland, a bit further along in the process, is now looking for community feedback.
Queensland looks to the community
Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) harrowing report, discussions about community involvement in clean energy future have reignited across Australia.
So the Queensland government’s calls for community feedback on projects for its three renewable energy zones (REZs) seems timely. Leading Australia in terms of REZ development, the state government said it now wants to hear from each of the local communities in the proposed areas about how they want the multi-billion dollar zones to benefit their families, jobs and region.
As part of the REZ project callout last year, 72 projects registered interest in the Southern REZ, while 67 registered interest in the Central REZ, and 53 in the Northern REZ. Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, described community support for the developments as “key.”
“We will ensure that QREZs are developed in a way that maximises community benefits and economic outcomes,” he said.
Queensland’s online survey will remain open until 30 September 2021.
Victoria seeks projects for first stage of its western REZs
The Victorian government and the Australia Energy Market Operator, which it commissioned to seek its VREZ tenders, appears eager to move at a rather more cracking pace, giving project developers just one week to register their interest.
Stage one projects will focus on developing system strengthen, with AEMO outlining the technology they’re looking for as including actual or virtual synchronous machines, synchronous condensers, batteries with grid forming inverters, or inverter control tuning technologies.
Given that AEMO only put outs its white paper on grid forming inverters last Friday, with regulations around the technology yet to be thought through, the callout doesn’t appear to fear the new and novel.
Developers wanting to register their interest have until August 20, with AEMO setting a mid September deadline for receipt of responses. AEMO will then assess the pool, making a shortlist for the Victorian government before it issues its invitations to tender anticipated in October.
Contracts for the six sought projects are expected to be formalised by the first quarter of 2022, and projects must be up at running by the end of 2024.
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