Powerlink delivers infrastructure to unlock 2 GW REZ


Powerlink announced it has completed construction on a new 65-kilometre 330 kV transmission line that will connect the planned Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in southern Queensland to the national grid.

The new high voltage transmission line, which includes two 330 kV switching stations and 165 towers, will allow for up to 2 GW of electricity to be exported into the grid, with Acciona Energia’s 923 MW MacIntyre Wind Farm to utilise almost half of this amount.

“This is a significant milestone on one of Powerlink’s flagship projects, with the MacIntyre Wind Farm being the first stage in our Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone,” Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said.

The Southern Downs REZ is one of 12 locations identified as potential sites for renewable energy zones as part of the Queensland government’s plans to connect 22 GW of new grid-scale wind and solar generation needed to help achieve its clean energy targets.

The Southern Downs REZ is one of three “in-flight” REZs identified in the REZ Roadmap that are already progressing under the existing National Electricity Rules with some degree of coordination and may be converted to a declared REZ in the future.

Acciona Managing Director Brett Wickham said the delivery of the transmission project is a major achievement and a milestone for Queensland’s energy transition.

“Queensland is the place to be for renewable energy projects,” he said. “With great policy, partners and plans Queensland leads the way in the energy transition creating jobs and developing regions in the process.”

Powerlink said the completion of project means the MacIntyre Wind Farm, being developed 60 kilometres west of Warwick in the Southern Downs, is ready to be connected to the grid.

It is expected the facility will begin supplying power to the grid later this year as it undergoes testing and commissioning.

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