Understand renewable energy zones | QREZ

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted this state, the Queensland Government has taken a sensible and staged approach to economic recovery.

The Queensland Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan lays the foundation for longer-term recovery. Underpinning the plan is more than $14.2 billion in recovery initiatives to keep the economy moving and Queenslanders in jobs.

As part of the recovery plan, the Queensland Government committed $145 million to establish 3 Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in northern, central and southern Queensland to:

  • foster jobs and growth as part of COVID-19 economic recovery
  • help Queensland reach 50% renewables by 2030.

What they do

A Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is an area with high quality renewable resources like wind and solar, that can be developed in a coordinated way.

Coordinated development means multiple generators can be connected in a cost-effective way. This supports an optimal electricity generation mix in Queensland that complements existing and emerging industries and benefits local communities.

To power our economic recovery and support continued jobs growth our state needs more clean energy. Coordinated development of QREZ will help us to deliver this cheaper, cleaner and reliable energy for Queenslanders.

Where they are

Map showing the 3 locations for the northern, central, and southern QREZ.

The Northern, Central and Southern QREZ cover areas identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator as having good quality renewable resources and other characteristics suitable for renewable energy development.

In these areas, we will:

  • undertake strategic network investments
  • streamline the development of new renewable energy projects
  • work to match new and existing industrial energy demand with our cheap, clean renewable energy.

View the maps of the selected areas.

Why Queensland needs renewable energy zones

The Queensland renewable energy sector has grown rapidly since 2015. This investment boom has delivered employment and infrastructure outcomes into mostly regional areas of Queensland. However, new challenges have emerged for renewable developers in managing risks like congestion and other grid constraints.

Identifying investment opportunities

Long-term development of QREZ will be complex and needs to support existing industries and emerging opportunities like the hydrogen economy. Coordinated development will support reliable, secure and affordable energy supply as we reach our target for 50% renewable energy by 2030.

We are working with Powerlink Queensland, our state-owned transmission company, to identify strategic investments aligned to areas of high investor interest. These were identified through the QREZ registration of interest process in 2020. During this process 192 projects registered their interest to participate in QREZ, representing a strong pipeline of renewable projects in Queensland.

Supporting cost-effective energy

Development of QREZ will help make Queensland’s high quality renewable energy resources available in an efficient and coordinated way. By coordinating development in areas of high renewable potential, we can support cost-effective, grid-connected renewable energy and keep downward pressure on electricity prices.

Bringing real benefits to local communities

Development of QREZs will deliver investment into Queensland’s regional economies, driving employment, energy and infrastructure outcomes.

Long-term development of QREZs is focused on delivering lasting community benefits on the path to 50% renewable energy by 2030.

Generating jobs for Queenslanders

The ultimate number of jobs will be dependent on the design and scale of the renewable projects developed. This will be confirmed as proponents progress feasibility, design and approval activities in coming years.

In addition, many indirect local jobs are expected to flow through to communities as businesses are called upon to support both the initial construction phase and ongoing project needs. This could include greater local content in supply chains and manufacturing of renewable energy components.

Next steps

Throughout 2021 we will be engaging further with communities, industry and other stakeholders on QREZ implementation with a focus on maximising local benefits.

Find out more about our consultation activities.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted this state, the Queensland Government has taken a sensible and staged approach to economic recovery.

The Queensland Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan lays the foundation for longer-term recovery. Underpinning the plan is more than $14.2 billion in recovery initiatives to keep the economy moving and Queenslanders in jobs.

As part of the recovery plan, the Queensland Government committed $145 million to establish 3 Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in northern, central and southern Queensland to:

  • foster jobs and growth as part of COVID-19 economic recovery
  • help Queensland reach 50% renewables by 2030.

What they do

A Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is an area with high quality renewable resources like wind and solar, that can be developed in a coordinated way.

Coordinated development means multiple generators can be connected in a cost-effective way. This supports an optimal electricity generation mix in Queensland that complements existing and emerging industries and benefits local communities.

To power our economic recovery and support continued jobs growth our state needs more clean energy. Coordinated development of QREZ will help us to deliver this cheaper, cleaner and reliable energy for Queenslanders.

Where they are

Map showing the 3 locations for the northern, central, and southern QREZ.

The Northern, Central and Southern QREZ cover areas identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator as having good quality renewable resources and other characteristics suitable for renewable energy development.

In these areas, we will:

  • undertake strategic network investments
  • streamline the development of new renewable energy projects
  • work to match new and existing industrial energy demand with our cheap, clean renewable energy.

View the maps of the selected areas.

Why Queensland needs renewable energy zones

The Queensland renewable energy sector has grown rapidly since 2015. This investment boom has delivered employment and infrastructure outcomes into mostly regional areas of Queensland. However, new challenges have emerged for renewable developers in managing risks like congestion and other grid constraints.

Identifying investment opportunities

Long-term development of QREZ will be complex and needs to support existing industries and emerging opportunities like the hydrogen economy. Coordinated development will support reliable, secure and affordable energy supply as we reach our target for 50% renewable energy by 2030.

We are working with Powerlink Queensland, our state-owned transmission company, to identify strategic investments aligned to areas of high investor interest. These were identified through the QREZ registration of interest process in 2020. During this process 192 projects registered their interest to participate in QREZ, representing a strong pipeline of renewable projects in Queensland.

Supporting cost-effective energy

Development of QREZ will help make Queensland’s high quality renewable energy resources available in an efficient and coordinated way. By coordinating development in areas of high renewable potential, we can support cost-effective, grid-connected renewable energy and keep downward pressure on electricity prices.

Bringing real benefits to local communities

Development of QREZs will deliver investment into Queensland’s regional economies, driving employment, energy and infrastructure outcomes.

Long-term development of QREZs is focused on delivering lasting community benefits on the path to 50% renewable energy by 2030.

Generating jobs for Queenslanders

The ultimate number of jobs will be dependent on the design and scale of the renewable projects developed. This will be confirmed as proponents progress feasibility, design and approval activities in coming years.

In addition, many indirect local jobs are expected to flow through to communities as businesses are called upon to support both the initial construction phase and ongoing project needs. This could include greater local content in supply chains and manufacturing of renewable energy components.

Next steps

Throughout 2021 we will be engaging further with communities, industry and other stakeholders on QREZ implementation with a focus on maximising local benefits.

Find out more about our consultation activities.


  • Northern QREZ

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    We announced the first stage of developing the Northern QREZ with a commitment of $40 million for network upgrades to unlock up to 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy potential in Far North Queensland.

    This investment will upgrade transmission lines between Cairns and Townsville to support new projects in the north, tapping into world-class wind resources in the region and improving the security of energy supply to Cairns.

    Far North Queensland has some of the strongest wind and solar resources in Australia. In particular, wind is often blowing while solar farms are ramping down or not generating, helping to balance the system.

    Kaban wind farm

    The first Northern QREZ project is Neoen Australia’s 157 MW Kaban Green Power Hub wind farm worth over $370 million. The construction of the wind farm and transmission infrastructure is expected to support 250 near-term construction jobs, with hundreds of additional jobs in the long-term as the Northern QREZ is further developed.

    The Kaban wind farm is backed by an offtake agreement with CleanCo Queensland to buy wind energy to supply some of Queensland’s largest businesses with reliable, globally competitive, low emissions energy.

    The Kaban wind farm has already been engaging with local communities about their proposed development.

    Early works commenced in May 2021.

    More information

  • Central QREZ

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    The Central QREZ is currently the energy powerhouse of Queensland with long-term hydrogen potential and existing energy-intensive industries which are looking to switch to renewable energy supply.

    It is centrally located in a strong part of the network with significant coal-fired generation and proximity to heavy industries near Gladstone.

    The region is also home to significant renewable energy resources. Central QREZ received registrations of interest from 67 projects, representing more than for 23,000 MW of project capacity across solar, wind, bioenergy, and storage technologies. If developed, these projects would represent more than $39 billion in investment and thousands of construction jobs.

    The region hosts some of Queensland’s largest energy consumers, including the Boyne Island aluminium smelter, refineries, and the Curtis Island LNG export terminal.

    There is growing interest in Gladstone for its potential in renewable manufacturing opportunities, especially hydrogen, ammonia, and renewable aluminium production near the Port of Gladstone.

    Additional prospective new industries could include:

    • energy-intensive minerals processing
    • minerals and other recycling
    • ag-tech and agricultural equipment manufacturing
    • low emission cement manufacturing.

    Further analysis is underway on the first stage of QREZ development in this region.

  • Southern QREZ

    supporting image

    The Southern QREZ is ready for development, with a diverse mix of industries and energy sources and a strong network. It is close to large load centres in South East Queensland and the inter-connector to New South Wales.

    This region has a strong electricity network and existing capacity to connect new projects. Finding economies of scale in connections through QREZ development could make this even more attractive for prospective renewable energy developers while unlocking additional capacity.

    Excellent wind resources

    While investment to date has favoured solar, the region has good wind resources which will complement the existing solar and other generation. It is already home to the state’s largest operating wind project, the 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm, and there is also a strong pipeline of other prospective projects in the area with high investor interest.

    There were 72 projects that registered their interest in the Southern QREZ with more than 8,300 MW of wind capacity. The Southern QREZ interest represents over $30 billion investment.

    Diverse local economy

    The region has a diverse farming industry, with a long history of food and fibre production, supported by large areas of prime agricultural land in the Darling Downs.

    Renewable energy in southern Queensland could support growth in agribusiness by diversifying electricity used in agricultural processing facilities. Bioenergy development could make use of agricultural waste products, supporting this industry to decarbonise and reduce energy costs. Another prospective new industry for Southern Queensland that could utilise more clean energy is the electrification of heavy vehicles and the freight network in the region.

    Renewables in the region have already found ways to complement other land uses and support a diverse local economy. The first stages of QREZ development will build on this and grow the renewable profile in the region.