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The proponents behind the $600 million North West Queensland Hybrid Power Project (NWQHPP) are calling for expressions of interest from contractors.

State Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the call was out for Queenslanders to build what could be Australia’s largest hybrid generator, generating 50 megawatts of cleaner, cheaper energy.

Publicly owned generator Stanwell Corporation is partnering with Vast Solar for the proposed dispatchable renewable energy project in Mount Isa.

Mr de Brenni said development of the proposed NWQHPP would need 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,” he 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 chief executive officer Craig Wood said the project was 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.

“We’re ensuring the project is developed in conjunction with local contractors and government wherever possible.”

Vast Solar and Stanwell announced a joint development agreement to undertake the $10 million feasibility study for the NWQHPP in March.

The joint study is expected to be completed in late 2021, which is one of several milestones to be reached in order to reach final investment decision and project approval.

Mount Isa could start to benefit from energy from the project from 2023 as part of a staggered construction program that brings some elements of the hybrid power plant into operations early.

For more information visit: https://www.nwqhpp.com.

IMAGE: Vast Solar’s concentrated solar thermal technology has been successfully deployed at its pilot project in regional NSW.

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