North Queensland is set to be home to Australia’s largest renewable energy scheme.

The ‘green grid’ will transfer hydro-electric power from Papua New Guinea to Townsville as part of Australia’s twenty-twenty emissions reduction target.

Camille Bianchi reports.

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Anna Bligh signed a deal between Origin Energy and PNG EDL for a green grid which would make Queensland the nation’s renewable energy leader.

Under the plan, Townsville would import hydro power from PNG via undersea cables, feeding into the national electricity grid and providing thousands of jobs.

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “This would be the biggest shot in the arm for regional Australia since the Snowy Mountain River scheme.”

The project is designed to reduce the state’s overall Co2 emissions.

Queensland’s power stations emit roughly 48 million tonnes of carbon each year.

Kate Jones, Qld Climate change minister: “Using hydro-power we can cut this by eight million tonnes of carbon.”

The Opposition leader says more research is needed into costs for the scheme.

John-Paul Langbroek, Qld Opposition Leader: “Its panicked water-grid investment that was undertaken without a business case to ensure value for money.”

The results of an investigation into the project’s viability and effect on the Guabo region in PNG, will be released in 2012.

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “A feasability study including environmental, sociological and engineering studies.”

The Premier says the planned finish date for the project will only be reached if everything runs as it should but the proposed date is not overly optimistic.

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “If the construction timetable meets the normal construction timetable then we should see electricity into the grid around 2018 – 19.”

Camille Bianchi, QUT News.