Cairns is set to reinforce its role as a leader in regional Queensland’s energy independence when it will house one of the State’s next electricity network-connected batteries.
While announcing the battery, Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said Far North Queenslanders know how important adding more renewable energy is to lowering power prices along with protecting the future of the Great Barrier Reef and the jobs it creates.
De Brenni said: “Large-scale batteries like the one now planned for Cairns allow us to capture the energy generated by Queenslanders, and best use it for Queenslanders.
“Importantly, this battery will help Cairns towards lower electricity bills, because making and storing our own power helps Queensland detach our energy system from expensive global markets impacting Australia.
“By basing the batteries at a substation in the community, it means renewable energy will be generated locally, stored locally, and then used locally, reducing the pressure on the upstream transmission network.
“This is an investment in good clean energy jobs, better grid services, and a great lifestyle for the future.”
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the new battery site could store up to 8 megawatt hours of energy.
Crawford said: “This new battery system will deliver efficiencies for the network and also provide price benefits to residents and businesses across Cairns,
“But the best news is that this building program will create local jobs and allow more renewable energy to be generated, stored, and used in local communities like those I represent in the Northern Beaches.
“This project is expected to sustain about 18 jobs during construction, plus ongoing job opportunities in maintenance, supply and off the back of cheaper electricity.”
Energy Queensland chief executive Rod Duke said the increased number of batteries on the Ergon and Energex networks would allow for better management of the ever-increasing levels of renewable energy being generated.
Duke said: “Having more storage capacity will enable us to move electricity in both space and time and that will lead to greater network stability and reliability for customers.”
De Brenni added that the recent national Energy Ministers Meeting produced a clear consensus to address the ongoing global impacts on the energy market.
He said: “That consensus was to deliver more renewables and storage, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
“We’re adding more local renewable energy storage to the mix in Cairns that means locals can keep installing solar and saving money, by creating more capacity on the network.
“Last week’s budget backs nation-building, game-changing pumped hydro storage projects in Kidston and Borumba, but batteries are the form of storage we can get into the network the fastest.
“This could create jobs in the mining, manufacturing and technology industries, plus there could be employment opportunities around the installations in the regions,”