Attendees at the Powerlink Transmission Network Forum. Courtesy of Powerlink

More than 450 industry stakeholders gathered in Queensland to attend the Powerlink Transmission Network Forum, which discussed key aspects of how Queensland’s future power system will take shape.

The forum took place on 3 November 2023 and brought together renewable developers, industry, community and government representatives to share insights and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities associated with the energy transformation.

The development of renewable energy zones (REZs) in Queensland was a key focus, with attendees discussing what community, generator and wider power system criteria need to be considered to deliver optimal outcomes.

Stakeholders highlighted that REZs should generate long-term community benefits, provide local jobs and infrastructure and take a more coordinated approach to community investment.

Discussions also highlighted the importance of having a diverse and optimal mix of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, battery, and hydrogen.

Another key topic was the vital role that community engagement and social licence to operate will play in the energy transformation. An expert panel, including Jo Sheppard from Queensland

Farmers Federation, Andrew Bray from RE-Alliance and Dr Kieren Moffat from Voconiq, discussed how the energy industry can better engage and build trust with communities who host energy infrastructure.

Powerlink Chief Executive Officer, Paul Simshauser, said, “This is our flagship annual event and is critically important to get all parts of the energy sector in a room to collaborate and discuss how we can develop a network that is future fit.

“We are not smarter than the market and discussions from this forum form an essential part of Powerlink’s vision for Queensland’s electricity network.

“We exist to serve Queenslanders – and it’s critically important we go on this transformation journey with them.

“Our focus will always be in delivering the best possible outcome for Queensland households and communities as we also work to decarbonise the electricity network.”

Powerlink General Manager, Communications, Customer and Engagement, Gerard Reilly, said, “This year we saw record attendance which highlights the level of interest in the role that transmission is playing in the energy transformation.

“There is enormous focus on how the energy industry, and transmission in particular, is engaging with communities.

“While Powerlink has implemented a range of initiatives to improve our community engagement and investment approach, we know there is a lot more work to do.”

Featured image: Attendees at the Powerlink Transmission Network Forum. Courtesy of Powerlink.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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