Aerial view of Ipswich

Queensland’s publicly owned utility, CleanCo, has commenced construction works on a $330 million battery in Swanbank, in a partnership with Tesla and Yurika.

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, Deputy Premier, Cameron Dick, and Energy Minister, Mick de Brenni, marked the start of construction on what is expected to be one of Queensland’s biggest batteries.

A pivotal component for the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub and Queensland’s clean energy future, the Swanbank Battery will be constructed on the site of the former Swanbank B coal-fired power station.

The battery has capacity of 250MW/500MWh and can store enough energy to power more than two-thirds of Ipswich for two hours each night when demand rises as the sun sets.

The project, CleanCo’s first battery storage project, will create around 60 jobs during construction and up to ten full-time jobs in operation.

With the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) set to arrive in 2024, CleanCo plans to have the site energised by mid-2025, adding significant storage capacity to Queensland’s electricity network.

The project is being delivered as part of the Queensland Government’s Big Energy Build.

The Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund is providing $330 million in funding towards the project.Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said, “My government will always champion projects that deliver cheaper, cleaner energy to Queensland households.

“It’s why we are delivering big batteries in your neighbourhood, and today marking the start of construction on one right here in Swanbank.

“It’s because of new technologies like this that we will reach the ambitious energy targets put before parliament.

“Renewables are driving down the spot wholesale price of power below zero, which is why we will continue to invest in them,” Mr Miles said.

Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Cameron Dick, said, “The Miles Government is committed to Queensland’s transformation to a stronger, decarbonised economy.

“That’s why we have provided $330 million for this project through the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.

“This battery will store the solar generated across the rooftops of Ipswich, allowing it to be used when the sun goes down,” Mr Dick said.

Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni, said, “The LNP closed the Swanbank Power Station because power prices were too low, whilst Labor reopened it. Now, we’ve started converting it into one of the state’s first Clean Energy Hubs.

“This big battery is proof that the Miles Government is taking real action to decarbonise our state’s economy in a way that makes the cost of living more affordable for Queenslanders.

“Conversion of the Swanbank site to a Clean Energy Hub means job security for the local workforce – a key commitment under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan – this is the same plan the LNP are yet to say if they support or not,” Mr de Brenni said.

Queensland Member for Bundamba and Training and Skills Minister, Lance McCallum, said, “Ipswich has a long, proud history of generating the electricity that’s powered the South East’s growth and delivered good, secure local jobs for our community.

“Swanbank’s big battery and Clean Energy Hub are part of the Miles Government plan for clean energy jobs and training and an affordable, reliable power supply.

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering more local jobs and putting Ipswich at the forefront of our clean energy revolution.”  

CleanCo Chief Executive Officer, Tom Metcalfe, said, “This project marks our commitment to a sustainable energy future for Queensland, marking the beginning of the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub’s transformative journey.

“The Swanbank Battery will add significant capacity for CleanCo to supply our customers with competitively priced, reliable clean energy around the clock.

“CleanCo has consulted extensively with the local community to develop a master plan for the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub, ensuring it is not only South East Queensland’s flagship energy precinct, but that it reflects the values and needs of the local community as well.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Swanbank and CleanCo is proud to be the custodian of a site which has evolved and adapted with Queensland’s energy landscape from coal to gas and now new battery technologies,” Mr Metcalfe said.

Yurika Executive General Manager, Belinda Watton, said, “Through significant renewable energy projects such as the 250MW Swanbank Battery Energy Storage System, Yurika continues to support businesses and communities through the complexity of the energy transition.

“Energy infrastructure is at the core of what we do, and we’re really looking forward to the partnership with CleanCo Queensland, Tesla and of course the local community to reimagine Swanbank through its Clean Energy Hub.  

“Alongside cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy, this publicly owned asset supports the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, creating jobs for Queenslanders and signals an incredibly positive investment into our clean energy future,” Ms Watton said. 

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