The proposed 50 megawatt North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project (NWQHPP) will combine Vast Solar’s modular tower concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technology with photovoltaic, battery and gas engine generators to deliver low cost, reliable, clean energy to the Mount Isa region. The NWQHPP would be the largest hybrid generator and the first utility-scale CSP plant built in Australia.
Yesterday Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the development of the proposed NWQHPP will require a highly-skilled workforce during the two-year build and dozens of permanent skilled jobs over the 30-year life of the plant.
“Importantly the proposed project will align to the Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Queensland procurement approach, meeting the highest standards around local content, local workforce and decent wages and conditions,” Minister de Brenni said.
“It will demonstrate how renewables can provide continuous energy to power large industrial and resource businesses in the North West, because that ultimately means more Queensland jobs.”
Vast Solar CEO, Craig Wood, said the project is calling for expressions of interest from contractors across a range of workstreams.
“This is another significant milestone as we work through the feasibility study and get closer to turning soil on site,” Mr Wood said.
“We are looking forward to hearing from a range of contractors who will be critical in bringing this project to life.”
“Building the plant will require collaboration between local, regional and national experts from a range of fields, and will involve hundreds of workers from Mount Isa and the surrounding area.”
“Vast Solar has been engaging local contractors to deliver various services at the proposed project site since July 2020, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to providing local employment opportunities,” he said.
“We’re ensuring the project is developed in conjunction with local contractors and government wherever possible.”
Vast Solar and Queensland Government-owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation, announced a joint development agreement to undertake a $10 million feasibility study for the project in March. The joint study is expected to be completed later this year, which is one of several milestones to be achieved in order to reach final investment decision and project approval.
Mount Isa could start to benefit from low cost, reliable, clean energy from 2023 as part of a staggered construction program that brings some elements of the hybrid power plant into operations early.
More information on the North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project can be found here.