Townsville at twilight

CopperString 2032 has reached a new milestone with Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, opening a new office for the project and a new Supergrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub to be co-located in Townsville.

Up to 60 highly skilled energy workers, including 30 dedicated to CopperString 2032, are expected to be based at the interim hub by the end of 2023 while a purpose-built facility is constructed.

The hub will play a key role in the delivery of CopperString 2032 and the growth of North Queensland’s renewable energy industry.

It will train workers in the specialist high voltage skills required to build, operate and maintain the northernmost reaches of Australia’s electricity network.

CopperString 2032 is a proposed 1,100km high voltage transmission line connecting Queensland’s North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Market.

Works are set to start in 2023 with construction to begin in 2024. The project is expected to be completed by 2029.

CopperString 2032 forms part of the Queensland SuperGrid. It is designed to unlock Australia’s largest renewable energy zone and more than $500 billion dollars in new critical minerals in North Queensland.

Community information sessions on CopperString will commence in August 2023 from Mount Isa to Townsville, providing the opportunity for community members and local suppliers to hear more about the project.

The Supergrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub in Townsville complements another facility already operating in Gladstone and is part of a $90 million investment by the Queensland Government to grow and future proof the energy workforce.

Ms Palaszczuk said the hub will play an important role in delivering CopperString 2032.

“By the end of the year it will house 60 new energy workers – 30 of them dedicated to CopperString, and this number will only grow.

“CopperString 2032 will unlock Australia’s largest renewable energy zone and more than $500 billion dollars in new critical minerals.  

“Early works for the $5 billion Big Build project are already underway ahead of construction commencing after the coastal wet season.

“I encourage locals and industry to get involved in the community sessions, which kick off next week,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said, “This hub will become the epicentre for energy jobs and training in North Queensland, with hundreds of dedicated CopperString and Supergrid workers set to be upskilled and trained.

“It means our workforce will stay up-to-date with quickly progressing technologies in the renewable energy field, ensuring we successfully deliver our projects.

“I’d like to thank the Premier and the local Townsville MPs who have championed this project and the opportunities it will unlock.”

Queensland Member for Townsville, and Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart, said, “This is about ensuring good jobs in new and exciting fields for local people, like the kids sitting in our classrooms today who are our future.”

“The government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and CopperString 2032 will unlock new potential for our region, delivering the critical minerals required to support our future renewable infrastructure.

Queensland Member for Mundingburra, Les Walker, said, “The official opening of this facility signifies a bright future and a huge investment opportunity for Townsville and the North.

“As the North Queensland Hydrogen Champion, I am excited about any projects that get Queensland closer to our renewable energy targets and Townsville is perfectly placed to take advantage of this.”

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said, “The hub provides a regional base for our people to help drive the energy system transformation, which includes ongoing work to deliver the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone between Townsville and Cairns.

“We will continue to grow our North Queensland base and create a pipeline of skilled people as we future-proof our longer term resourcing requirements to deliver our commitments under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

“It’s an exciting time to make North Queensland home.”

©2024 Utility Magazine. All rights reserved


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