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Stanwell solar deal to boost Queensland hydrogen production


Queensland’s Stanwell Corporation and international renewables company, ACCIONA Energia, have signed a MoU on future energy supply for a proposed three-gigawatt hydrogen facility in Aldoga in Queensland. 

“We’re investing in new renewables projects to create jobs and stimulate Queensland’s economy,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “There is growing demand for renewable hydrogen in burgeoning markets like Japan and South Korea. We’re partnering with the private sector to ensure Queensland is best placed to capitalise on the renewables revolution. 

“Since announcing the landmark partnership between Iwatani and Stanwell, land has been secured at Aldoga and a $10.4 million feasibility study has been announced. Today’s agreement means that a Central Queensland-based hydrogen facility could soon be fuelled with solar power, also produced in Central Queensland. This is a testament to the great potential we have as a renewables superpower into the future.” 

The MoU signifies further progress for the Stanwell-led CQ-H2 consortium.  

“This large-scale facility could export renewable hydrogen to Japan as well as supply large industrial customers in Central Queensland,” deputy premier and minister for State Development Steven Miles said. 

“ACCIONA Energia is one of the world’s major international renewable companies and has plans to develop Queensland’s largest solar project on land owned by the Queensland government within the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA).” 

Under the MoU, a direct connection could be established between ACCIONA’s proposed Aldoga Solar Farm and the hydrogen facility proposed by the Stanwell-led consortium, Miles said. 

“A direct connection would see Queensland’s largest solar project providing clean and renewable energy to Queensland’s largest renewable hydrogen project,” he said. 

“Agreements like this come with a world of opportunities, not only to grow Queensland’s renewables and hydrogen industry, but to secure high-skilled jobs for Queenslanders.” 

CQ-H2 is to be delivered by a consortium of Australian and international partners including Japanese companies Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kansai Electric Power Company and Marubeni, and Australian energy infrastructure business APA Group. 

The agreement marked an important milestone in advancing a thriving and vibrant renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Central Queensland. 

“Central Queensland has established itself as a renewables powerhouse and the region plays an important role in continuing our progress towards achieving our government’s Queensland Renewable Energy Target by 2030,” minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

“The Aldoga Solar Farm will create up to 350 jobs during construction and 14 ongoing jobs once operational and it will be delivered under our Buy Queensland procurement policy, ensuring it supports quality jobs and local content, in turn backing local businesses in the supply chain. 

“The MoU between Stanwell and ACCIONA is extremely significant because at its peak, the CQ-H2 project will provide more than 5000 new jobs over its 30-year life with flow-on benefits to construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing and local service industries.” 

Gladstone’s prime location, established industrial sector and skilled workforce continue to be a major drawcard for investment in the region. 

“Gladstone is being recognised globally as an ideal location for growing industries such as renewables, hydrogen and associated manufacturing hubs,” minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher said. 

“ACCIONA and Stanwell’s Japanese consortium partners are world leaders in their respective fields, and they’re all coming to Gladstone to drive development of these key industries of the future.” 

The agreement between Stanwell and ACCIONA demonstrates the important role the Gladstone SDA plays in driving industry growth in the region. 

“Both the Aldoga Solar Farm and the proposed hydrogen electrolysis facility are to be located within the Gladstone SDA which will ensure significant renewables infrastructure is working in partnership towards achieving a common goal,” Butcher said. 

“Partnerships like this boost Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and we’re backing Queensland to become a renewable energy and hydrogen superpower.” 

The MoU highlights the importance Stanwell places on developing strategic partnerships across the supply chain to support the development of Queensland’s renewable energy future, Stanwell CEO Michael O’Rourke said. 

“Stanwell is developing a high-quality, value-for-money pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects to support its long-term objectives of providing low emissions solutions to commercial and industrial retail customers and supplying renewable energy to the CQ-H2 project,” O’Rourke said. 

“We will leverage the direct connection to the Aldoga Solar Farm to power stage one of the proposed CQ-H2 hydrogen facility, which is a positive step towards supporting the production of renewable hydrogen in the Gladstone region.” 

The proposed facility will require substantially higher quantities of renewable energy to support the development of stage two, he said. 

“Our CQ-H2 consortium will continue to work hard to ensure we are collaborating with key partners across all parts of the supply chain to help drive down the cost of hydrogen technologies and support the development of the industry,” O’Rourke said. 

The Aldoga Solar Farm is due to commence construction in September 2023, with generation output scheduled to commence in December 2025. 

“We have a strong working relationship with Stanwell and are very excited to provide renewable energy supply to their innovative hydrogen project,” ACCIONA Energia managing director Brett Wickham said. 

“As the world’s largest operator dedicated exclusively to renewable energies, ACCIONA Energia is always looking for opportunities to work with leading corporate and institutional clients to help them meet their decarbonisation goals. This MOU with Stanwell is just one example of how we are leading the transition to a low-carbon economy.” 

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