Participating in the energy market

Your renewable energy projects form a significant aspect of Queensland's energy strategy as part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. Read about the energy market and how to connect to the electricity grid.

National Electricity Market

In the National Electricity Market (NEM), large-scale renewable generators generally receive 2 sources of income:

  • revenue from the wholesale pool market
  • revenue from the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

The NEM is a wholesale electricity market in which generators sell electricity and retailers buy it to onsell to consumers. Electricity cannot be stored easily, so the NEM works as a pool or spot market, where power supply and demand is matched instantaneously in real time through a centrally coordinated dispatch process.

Large-scale renewable energy target (LRET)

The national Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) supports the development of large-scale renewable energy projects through the creation of Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) for each megawatt hour of generation by accredited renewable energy power stations.

Under the LRET, energy retailers are required to obtain and surrender to the Clean Energy Regulator LGCs proportional to the amount of electricity they purchase each year. This creates a market for LGCs and provides an additional revenue stream for renewable energy power stations.

Connecting to the grid

Most renewable energy generation projects will need to connect to a transmission or distribution network. Securing grid connection is usually a critical path item for projects as it can take many years to allow for the completion of connection studies and construction of network infrastructure. Network connection can also be a significant component of project costs.

To access the electricity grid, as a project proponent, you are required to liaise with either Powerlink Queensland (i.e. the transmission network) or Energy Queensland (i.e. the distribution network), depending on project location and size.

You should engage with these network businesses in the initial stages of your project's development, to ensure that the regulatory approvals process associated with both a connection application and development application are undertaken concurrently where possible.

Read more about connecting a:

Electricity licensing

If your renewable project has over 30MW generation capacity, you will need to secure a Generation Authority. This is issued by the Department of Energy and Climate and authorises its holder to connect the generating plant to a transmission grid or supply network.

In order to secure a generation authority, you must apply in writing and pay the prescribed fee.

Read more about electricity licences, including guidelines for a generation authority.

Note: A generating plant with a capacity of 30MW or less does not need to apply for a generation authority.

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