Enel, has entered into a binding agreement with minerals firm QEM to acquire a 1GW solar and wind project. Named the Julia Creek Renewables Project, it will be situated adjacent to QEM's flagship Julia Creek Vanadium and Oil Shale project in northwest Queensland.
The agreement includes the purchase of solar and wind monitoring equipment, over 18 months of data, and intellectual property related to various project studies. In exchange, QEM will receive an upfront payment of AU$3 million (US$2 million), two milestone payments totaling AU$4 million, and a final payment contingent on development plans.
As part of the deal, Enel Green Power Australia will provide 25MW of firm capacity to QEM through a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA). QEM had previously shortlisted offers from Acciona Energía, Origin Energy, Energy Estate, and Enel Green Power in July 2023.
The Julia Creek Renewables Project is set to connect to the CopperString 2.0 transmission line, linking the North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Market. Enel Green Power Australia currently operates three solar projects with a combined 310MW capacity, along with a 76MW wind project. The company also has a 93MW solar project under construction.
Enel Green Power Australia CEO Werther Esposito highlighted the project's potential as one of Queensland's largest renewable energy initiatives, aiming to significantly contribute to the state's renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035.
Queensland unveiled ambitious renewable energy targets last year, envisioning 22GW of new solar and wind projects by 2035. The government plans to legislate these targets, aiming for 50% by 2030, 70% by 2032, and 80% by 2035, with over AU$62 billion (US$40.85 billion) in investment, primarily in regional Queensland.