Queensland’s dedicated renewable energy industry representative body has welcomed the start of construction on the Queensland Government-owned CopperString transmission network that aims to harness six gigawatts of renewable energy between Townsville and the North West Minerals Province.

Queensland Renewable Energy Council (QREC) Chief Executive Officer Katie-Anne Mulder said CopperString was part of the Queensland Government’s SuperGrid and the legislated renewable energy targets – 50% by 2030, 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035 – under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

“The Government formally acquired the project last year with Powerlink to oversee its delivery as part of the SuperGrid program.”

“The launch of construction is a proud day for QREC. Its members VisIR, led by John and Joseph O’Brien, developed the CopperString project, and Powerlink has responsibility to deliver and own it.”

CopperString is a 1100-kilometre, high voltage transmission network from Townsville to Mount Isa and the North West Minerals Province.  The section between Townsville and Hughenden is to be upgraded to 500kV and increase capacity for renewable energy projects in that region, which already hosts the Kennedy Energy Park, a world-first hybrid wind, solar and energy storage project.

Ms Mulder said CopperString was a key part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan infrastructure delivery with projects such as Mount James (Iberdola) already well-advanced in their planning and assessment.

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan projected the requirement of an additional 12 gigawatts of wind and 10 gigawatts of large-scale solar would be needed to achieve 80% renewable energy and facilitate the closure of publicly-owned coal-fired generation by 2035,” she said.

“The Government expects CopperString will harness six gigawatts.”

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