The Queensland Government has released the Electricity Supply Options for the North West Minerals Province Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS), a vital piece to shore up the region’s long-term energy security.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the State’s North West is a vital contributor to the Queensland economy.
“North West Queensland is mineral rich and is already playing a role in supplying vital minerals for the growing global technology boom,” the Treasurer said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering reliable, affordable energy in the North West to unlock new mining opportunities and create regional jobs.
“Our government is a long-term supporter of the Copperstring 2.0 project, and the release of the CRIS is a necessary step towards delivering this project.
“The CRIS demonstrates the need for the Federal Government to deliver financial support towards Copperstring 2.0 to ensure no impact on other Queensland energy users.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Queensland has the renewables above the ground and critical minerals below the ground to be a clean energy powerhouse.
“To ensure our North West can meet demand for new economy minerals needed to produce advanced electronics and renewable technology we want to hear more from industry and locals on how the region could be powered,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The options for future power supply are important in thinking about how the North West plays a role in Queensland’s clean energy transformation as we move towards net zero emissions.
“The three proposed options aim to provide the region with a reliable, potentially lower emissions electricity supply and consider local generation opportunities, privately-owned infrastructure and publicly-owned infrastructure.
“Any decision will also carefully consider costs and benefits for the North West and Queensland as a whole and this paper offers an opportunity for all stakeholders – including current and proponent miners and other energy users – to provide input.
“Importantly, the price that households and small businesses across this region pay for their electricity will remain aligned to those in the south-east thanks to the Government’s Uniform Tariff Policy and this paper does not relate to those long-standing arrangements.
“Next year we will release Queensland’s Energy Plan, which will outline the pathway for the future of the State’s entire energy system.”
Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said there is huge potential in the North West Minerals Province.
“As a government we’re backing the North West Minerals Province because we know these new economy minerals are a key part of the growing renewable energy sector,” Mr Stewart said.
“It is a big focus of the draft Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan which is open for consultation now.
“Growing the North West Minerals Province is an important part of growing our economy and this work is important in helping that happen.”
Among the options are high-voltage transmission connecting the region to the national electricity market – including the proposed Copperstring 2.0 Project – as well as the region’s local renewable potential.
The State Government has contributed development funding for the CopperString 2.0 project which proposes to construct a 1,100km transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Province with the National Electricity Market and deliver around 750 construction jobs for North Queensland.
This includes providing $15.98 million to support the development of the project. The State also entered into a tripartite arrangement with CuString Pty Ltd and Sun Metals owners Korea Zinc to enable Copperstring 2.0 to secure further development funding.
To have your say on the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement for electricity supply to the North West Minerals Province visit www.qld.gov.au/northwest-electricity-supply
The consultation period will finish on 28 February 2022.