More than $2 billion worth of renewable energy projects attracted financial commitment in the last three months, adding up to an unprecedented $7.4 billion in investment and more than 3300 MW of new renewable energy capacity which will be under construction or completed in 2017, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said a string of large-scale solar project announcements since February meant more than 4100 direct jobs would be created in a record-breaking year for new investment in the sector.

“Bringing on new forms of energy generation is necessary to ensure continued energy security as ageing coal-fired power continues to close. Thankfully, 35 large-scale renewable energy projects are now under construction in Australia. Large-scale renewable energy, combined with the continued strong uptake of rooftop solar and emergence of energy storage, provides a clear pathway for Australia’s future energy needs,” Mr Thornton said.  

“Following announcements by Infigen Energy, Lyon Solar and Reach Solar Energy, there are now 35 projects that are already under construction, will start construction or have been completed in 2017.

"This adds up to 4105 direct jobs, more than $7.4 billion of investment and 3549.4 MW of new renewable energy capacity – the biggest program of works in the history of the industry.

“Large-scale solar technology has approximately halved in price over just the last few years, making it competitive not only with wind power but with fossil fuels such as gas.

“Renewable energy is now the cheapest kind of power generation it is possible to build today, and solar power plants have a relatively short project lead time compared to other technologies.

“Regional New South Wales and Queensland in particular will enjoy some of the biggest job and investment benefits, while the Victorian Government’s state target is expected to drive more project activity once finalised and legislated.

“Between 5-6000 MW of new generating capacity is required to meet the 2020 large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 33,000 gigawatt-hours. With over 3400 MW of new capacity now under construction and many more projects expected to be finalised in months ahead, industry is making excellent progress toward the 2020 target,” he said.

Mr Thornton said funding from the Federal Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has had a huge impact in driving down the costs of large-scale solar, along with the innovative finance packages developed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The support of state and territory governments has also been a big part of reducing costs and restoring confidence to the renewable energy sector, he said.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.

Large-scale renewable energy projects: Under construction

Technology State Developer Project MW Invest- ment (A$m) Jobs
Wind SA Neoen and Megawatt Capital Hornsdale Stage 2 100 800 150
Wind SA Neoen and Megawatt Capital Hornsdale Stage 3 109    
Wind NSW Goldwind White Rock - Stage 1 175 400 300
Wind QLD RATCH Mt Emerald 180 380 150

Wind

VIC

Windlab

Kiata

30

75

70

Solar

WA

APA

Emu Downs

20

50

100

Wind and Solar

SA

EDL

Coober Pedy

4

37

 

Solar

QLD

Sunshine Coast Council

Sunshine Coast Solar Farm

15

50

60

Solar

NSW

New Gullen Range Wind Farm

Gullen Range Solar Farm

10

26

70

Solar

QLD

Conergy – Lakeland Solar & Storage P/L

Lakeland Solar & Storage Project

10.8

42.5

60

Solar

QLD

FRV

Clare Solar Farm

100

190

200

Solar

QLD

Genex

Kidston Solar

50

126

100

Bagasse

QLD

MSF Sugar

Tableland Sugar Mill

24

75

80

Wind

VIC

Pacific Hydro

Yaloak South

29

130

 

Wind

VIC

Acciona

Mt Gellibrand - Stage 1

66

140

100

Wind

NSW

Partners Group and CWP Renewables

Sapphire

270

588

200

Solar

QLD

Canadian Solar & Scouller Energy

Normanton Solar Farm

5

14

20

Solar

QLD

Canadian Solar

Longreach Solar Farm

17.4

31

30

Solar

QLD

Canadian Solar

Oakey 1 Solar Farm

30

56

50


Large-scale renewable energy projects completed in 2017

Technology State Developer Project MW Investment (A$m) Jobs

Wind

VIC

RES, GE and Downer

Ararat Wind Farm

240

450

165


Large-scale renewable energy: Financial commitment, will start in 2017

Technology State Developer Project MW Investment (A$m) Jobs

Wind

NSW

Global Power Generation Australia

Crookwell 2

91.0

140

100

Solar

QLD

Sun Metals

Sun Metals Solar Farm

125

155

210

Solar

QLD

ESCO Pacific/Palisade

Ross River

148.0

225

150

Wind and solar

QLD

Windlab

Kennedy Energy Park

40.0

120

50

Wind

NSW

PARF

Silverton

200.0

460

150

Solar

QLD

FRV

Lilyvale

100.0

400

200

Solar

SA

Snowy Hydro

Tailem Bend

100.0

200

200

Solar

NSW

Neoen

Griffith, Parkes, Dubbo

94.8

230

250

 

Solar

VIC

Overland Sun Farming

Yatpool, Iraak, Wemen

320.0

500

200

Solar

NSW

First Solar

Manildra Solar Farm

42.4

 

 

Solar

SA

Lyon Group

Riverland Solar Farm

330.0

700

270

Wind

NSW

Infigen Energy

Bodangora Wind Farm

113.2

236 120

Solar

QLD

Edify Energy

Whitsunday Solar Farm

57.5

122

116

Solar

SA

Reach Solar

Bungala Solar Project

220.0

 

 

Solar

QLD

Canadian Solar

Oakey 2 SF

70.0

110

100

Solar NSW

ARENA

White Rock Solar Farm 20   75
Solar QLD

APA Group

Darling Downs 106.8 217 200
Total - Solar*

1774.5

2979

2021

Total - Wind*

444.2

956

420

TOTAL - in progress, completed or will start in 2017

2271.9 MW

$3815m

2441

*Both totals include projects with combined wind + solar technologies. These double-counted projects include 20 MW capacity, $120 million and 50 jobs, which have been removed from the final total.


Distribution of large-scale renewable energy projects by state

State Projects Capacity (MW) Investment (A$m) Jobs

Queensland

15

963

2224

1680

New South Wales

8

1017

2140

1170

Victoria

5

685

1295

535

South Australia

6

863

1737

620

Western Australia

1

20

50

100