The Queensland Government has announced it will invest $2 billion into renewable energy and hydrogen as part of an economic recovery plan.
The investment is part of the state’s $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund, in line with the state government’s plans to reach a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
The investment, as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk clarified, will include support for local manufacturing of renewables and hydrogen and developing projects in hydrogen and renewable industries.
The investment follows the announcement that Japanese companies Sojitz and Eneos will be investing on a 204-megawatt solar farm across 428 hectares in Edenvale, in the Western Downs region.
The 50-50 joint venture of Japan’s biggest oil refiner Eneos and trading house Sojitz will be the first solar project in Australia for both companies.
The project has been under development since 2019 by Singapore’s DPI Solar 3, which will be the farm’s operator. A joint statement by Eneos and Sojitz said construction has started this month at the site, about 300 kilometres west of Brisbane.
Premier Palaszczuk said the investment will only strengthen energy output for the entire state.
“Queensland has a strong relationship with Japan, and this is clearly demonstrated here by this significant investment by Sojitz and ENEOS,” she said.
“This project will create a local jobs bonanza with over 400 jobs required during the construction phase.”
Out of the power to be produced at the solar farm, 70 per cent will be sold to local electricity retailer while a part of the remaining 30 per cent will be supplied to the Gregory Crinum coal mine, which Sojitz owns and operates in Queensland.
Eneos and Sojitz aim to start operation of the farm in the second half of the financial year to March 2023.