Central QREZ

by Rikki March,

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.

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