Queensland renewable energy zones | QREZ

Queensland is investing heavily in renewable energy and has committed to achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050.

More than 20% of electricity used in Queensland is currently produced from renewable energy sources including large-scale solar farms and wind farms, as well as rooftop solar.

As we grow from 20% to 50% renewable energy, Queensland needs to look for opportunities to make our energy system stronger and ensure cleaner, affordable energy is delivered to all Queenslanders.

As part of the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, the Queensland Government committed $145 million to establish 3 Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (QREZ) in northern, central and southern Queensland to help manage the energy transformation, deliver jobs, diversify the economy and lower emissions.

What they are

A renewable energy zone is an area with high quality renewable resources like strong wind and solar, that could become a renewable powerhouse for the state if the area developed in a coordinated way. Coordinated development means combining renewable generation, transmission and storage technology in a smart way. Our electricity grid is stronger when generation projects, such as wind farms and solar farms, are balanced with storage projects, such as batteries and pumped hydro. And it’s more cost effective to have these projects built in specific locations and connected to key transmission lines.

What they do

To power our economic recovery and support continued jobs growth our state needs more clean energy. Coordinated developmeMap showing the 3 locations for the northern, central, and southern QREZ.nt of QREZ will help us to deliver affordable, cleaner and reliable energy for Queenslanders.

Where they are

The Northern, Central and Southern QREZ regions cover large areas identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as having good quality renewable resources and other characteristics suitable for renewable energy development. View the maps of the selected areas.

Queensland Government actions

A large portion of the $145 million QREZ funding is for electricity transmission upgrades.

We are working with Powerlink Queensland, our state-owned transmission company, to identify strategic transmission investments that deliver the best benefits to Queenslanders and Queensland business and industry.

In each zone we’re also working closely with industry and communities to:

  • integrate storage, like batteries and pumped hydro
  • deliver lasting local benefits for communities including local jobs, local procurement, and genuine engagement
  • unlock opportunities for future industries, like clean manufacturing and renewable hydrogen by matching new and existing industrial energy demand with our affordable, clean renewable energy.




Queensland is investing heavily in renewable energy and has committed to achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050.

More than 20% of electricity used in Queensland is currently produced from renewable energy sources including large-scale solar farms and wind farms, as well as rooftop solar.

As we grow from 20% to 50% renewable energy, Queensland needs to look for opportunities to make our energy system stronger and ensure cleaner, affordable energy is delivered to all Queenslanders.

As part of the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, the Queensland Government committed $145 million to establish 3 Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (QREZ) in northern, central and southern Queensland to help manage the energy transformation, deliver jobs, diversify the economy and lower emissions.

What they are

A renewable energy zone is an area with high quality renewable resources like strong wind and solar, that could become a renewable powerhouse for the state if the area developed in a coordinated way. Coordinated development means combining renewable generation, transmission and storage technology in a smart way. Our electricity grid is stronger when generation projects, such as wind farms and solar farms, are balanced with storage projects, such as batteries and pumped hydro. And it’s more cost effective to have these projects built in specific locations and connected to key transmission lines.

What they do

To power our economic recovery and support continued jobs growth our state needs more clean energy. Coordinated developmeMap showing the 3 locations for the northern, central, and southern QREZ.nt of QREZ will help us to deliver affordable, cleaner and reliable energy for Queenslanders.

Where they are

The Northern, Central and Southern QREZ regions cover large areas identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as having good quality renewable resources and other characteristics suitable for renewable energy development. View the maps of the selected areas.

Queensland Government actions

A large portion of the $145 million QREZ funding is for electricity transmission upgrades.

We are working with Powerlink Queensland, our state-owned transmission company, to identify strategic transmission investments that deliver the best benefits to Queenslanders and Queensland business and industry.

In each zone we’re also working closely with industry and communities to:

  • integrate storage, like batteries and pumped hydro
  • deliver lasting local benefits for communities including local jobs, local procurement, and genuine engagement
  • unlock opportunities for future industries, like clean manufacturing and renewable hydrogen by matching new and existing industrial energy demand with our affordable, clean renewable energy.




  • Northern QREZ

    by Rikki March,
    supporting image

    The Queensland Government is investing $40 million for energy network upgrades in the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (QREZ) region 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 – including the Kaban Green Power Hub wind farm – in the north and improve 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 not generating electricity, which helps to balance the energy system.

    Learn more about the transmission works being undertaken by Powerlink Queensland.

    Kaban Green Power Hub

    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.

    Construction is under way with the project expected to be operational in 2023.

    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.

    An offtake agreement is when an energy company agrees to purchase the energy produced by a project. These agreements are often made before the project is even built as an offtake agreement can often help a project get final investment approval.

    You can learn more about the project at Neoen’s Kaban Green Power Hub project website.

    Unlocking renewable potential - explained

    Transmission lines are how energy generation projects such as wind farms or solar farms deliver energy into the grid and supply energy to homes, business and industry. Large transmission lines and associated technology are limited in how much energy they can carry and therefore how many projects they can support.

    ‘Unlocking renewable potential’ is a saying used when a transmission line is upgraded, or a new line is built, which not only meets the needs of current generation projects but leaves space (capacity) to support more renewable projects in the future.


  • Central QREZ

    by Rikki March,
    supporting image

    The Central Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (QREZ) region 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. From the QREZ registration of interest process undertaken in 2020, the Central QREZ region received registrations of interest from 67 projects, representing more than for 23,000 megawatts (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 under way on the first stage of QREZ development in this region.


  • Southern QREZ

    by Rikki March,
    supporting image

    The Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (QREZ) is ready for development, with a diverse mix of industries and energy sources. It is close to ‘large load centres’ in South East Queensland and the inter-connector to New South Wales. (‘Large load centre’ refers to an area where lots of energy is required and used, including manufacturing hubs or industrial precincts.)

    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 megawatt (MW) Coopers Gap Wind Farm, and there is also a strong pipeline of other prospective projects in the area with high investor interest.

    From a QREZ registration of interest process undertaken in 2020, 72 projects registered interest in the Southern QREZ representing more than 8,300 MW of wind capacity and more than $30 billion in investment potential.

    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.