State to buy big green line
The Queensland Government is buying the $5 billion Copperstring project.
The state government has announced plans to purchase and develop the CopperString 2.0 transmission line, a project that will connect Townsville to Mount Isa.
It says the 1,100 kilometre link will be 100 per cent publicly owned and will pave the way for up to 6,000 megawatts of renewable energy in the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and more than $500 billion in new critical minerals in North Queensland.
Construction is planned to commence next year, with early works beginning this year, led by the state's publicly owned transmission business Powerlink.
According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk; “CopperString is the most significant investment in economic infrastructure in North Queensland in generations”.
The premier noted that a $500 million down payment from the state's coal royalties fund was going directly into the project.
The project is expected to unlock $132.6 billion of critical mineral mining and another 6GW of renewable energy generation potential, including green hydrogen production.
The decision to develop the project under a government-led model is seen as a “big win” for North Queensland, according to renewables lobby group Solar Citizens.
The new transmission link will unlock power equivalent to doubling the existing large-scale solar and wind farms in Queensland.
CopperString 2.0 has been described as the ‘missing link’ in the national energy transformation, with the high capacity transmission opening up massive renewable energy potential in one of the sunniest places on Earth.