Our customers have told us what is important to them, and we have made it our business to keep looking for new ways to expand on our offering and services.
In the spot market, we saw prices rise sharply in Queensland, where sweltering temperatures and high humidity led to a new maximum record demand.
At 5pm on January 22, demand for electricity smashed through the 11,000 megawatt mark for the first time ever, sailing past the previous record of 10,070 megawatts set last March.
For those keeping score at home, that’s a massive 9.3 per cent increase on the previous record.
As the sun set and solar generation ramped down, prices ramped up, peaking at $9,799.63 per megawatt hour for the 6:25 and 6:30 dispatch periods, before demand subsided throughout the evening.
For the month, Queensland finished up $67.44 at $160.43. Those higher prices filtered down to New South Wales, to a less dramatic extent (up $12.92 at $81.17), but in Victoria, prices actually fell throughout the month (finishing down $3.19 at $22.10), as Southerners enjoyed mild weather and plenty of availability.
In the contract market, this reminder of just how volatile the spot market can be contributed to a slight price rise for Cal 25 in Queensland (up 75 cents at $90.50).
Cal 25 prices were down slightly in New South Wales, which wasn’t as heavily affected (down 35 cents at $102.80). Cal 25 prices also fell in Victoria (down $4 at $64.15), on the back of low spot market prices and cheap gas.
Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are following the same trends in Queensland (up 45 cents at $89.50) and Victoria (down $3.60 at $64). The slight uptick in the New South Wales price (up 75 cents at $111.30), reflects the imminent closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Eraring.
Turning our attention to the environmental market, we saw prices drop for Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs, closing the month down $2.75 at $45.75). With LGC participants finalising their requirements for their 2023 liability, demand for these certificates has fallen.
Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) finished the month $2 higher at $35. This increase was largely driven by buying demand from liable entities entering the market.
Meanwhile, prices were up slightly for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs, up 35 cents at $39.65), on the back of some late buying of 2023 certificates.
That’s it for January. We’re crossing our fingers for a cooler, less humid February, when we’ll update you on market conditions again.
In the spot market, we saw prices buck the downward trend of the last few months and go up in Queensland (finishing the month up $35.92 at $72.97), New South Wales (up $45.27 at $87.35) and Victoria (up $17.75 at $34.94).
There were a few reasons for this. There was more cloud coverage compared to October, pushing the renewable output to lower levels. This meant we didn’t see the same periods of negative pricing in November that brought down the average price in October.
November also saw unplanned outages in New South Wales that pushed spot prices higher.
Due to warmer weather throughout November, there was also more demand for air conditioning at all hours of the day, which contributed to the rise in spot prices.
While prices were on the rise in the spot market, it was a different story in the forward market.
The expected return of a number of units that have been offline means there’s shaping up to be plenty of generation availability in the year ahead, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales.
That optimistic forecast for availability has led Cal 25 prices to decrease – finishing the month down $2.40 in Queensland at $91.25; down $8.05 in New South Wales at $106.35; and down 50 cents in Victoria at $68.20.
Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are following the same trend, and are also down across the board. Queensland finished down 60 cents at $89.65; New South Wales down $6.90 at $111.55; and Victoria down $2.50 at $67.
It was an eventful month in the environmental market.
The Federal Government announced an expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme. This announcement has put downward pressure on the price of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), which finished down $2.60 at $46.90.
On the other hand, buying demand picked up throughout the month for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which closed $1.75 higher at $32.00.
Finally, the clearing house for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) entered surplus during the month, which meant wholesale trading of these certificates resumed. This resulted in STC prices falling, and by the end of November, they were trading consistently at $39.30, down 60 cents on last month.
That’s it for the November wrap. We hope you’ve enjoyed our 2023 market updates, and from all of us at Stanwell Energy, we wish you a safe holiday season.
Prices were down, down, down in the spot market in October, and the follow-on effects filtered through to the contract market.
Turning our attention to the spot market, we saw prices continue to decrease across the east coast throughout October.
A combination of relatively mild weather and strong renewable output led to a decrease in demand for energy from the grid throughout the month, which caused prices to fall in Queensland (down $13.72 at $37.05), New South Wales (down $22.46 at $42.09) and Victoria (down $9.12 at $17.19).
In the contract market, prices have also fallen across the east coast, reflecting the continued drop in price in the spot market. Cal 25 prices finished the month lower in Queensland (down $8.05 at $93.65), New South Wales (down $11 at $114.40) and Victoria (down $4.50 at $68.70).
Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are also following the trend set by the spot market, dropping in Queensland (down $5.50 at $90.25), New South Wales (down $10.30 at $118.45) and Victoria (down $5.50 at $69.50).
The environmental market tends to be quiet in October, and this year was no exception.
With more sellers than buyers in the market, we saw minor decreases in the prices of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs, down $2.25 at $49.50) and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs, down 15 cents at $30.25).
Prices for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) actually fell at the start of the month, as the STC Clearing House finally came out of deficit and a level of wholesale trading resumed.
As the month went on however, buyers started purchasing STCs for their Quarter 3 liability, and the Clearing House re-entered deficit. That led to STC prices bouncing back towards the usual $40 mark, finishing the month down just 10 cents at $39.90.
By the end of the month, the Clearing House was in deficit by 1.3 million certificates.
And that’s it for October – good luck to everyone growing out their moustaches for Movember, and we’ll see you back here for another update next month!
Samantha Menear brings nearly a decade of experience in the energy sector, working across both the gas and electricity markets, to her role as an Account Manager at Stanwell Energy.
With a strong background in both operations and customer service, Samantha has a keen eye for detail, a knack for identifying opportunities for process improvements and increased efficiencies, and a drive to create positive customer experiences.
She is always looking for opportunities to add value for our customers, and is particularly skilled at tailoring energy solutions to the specific needs of commercial and industrial businesses.
As well as being a reliable and proactive point of contact for our customers, Samantha prides herself on developing and maintaining productive, mutually beneficial relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders throughout the wider industry.
It’s this commitment to excellence, and a proven willingness to go above and beyond, that makes Samantha an invaluable asset to both Stanwell Energy and our customers.
Over the past month, a lot happened on the political front:
During September 2023, the Australian Government released its Future Gas Strategy consultation paper, which aims to establish a plan for gas production, consumption and substitution as Australia works towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The strategy will provide a medium-term (to 2035) and long-term (to 2050) plan for Australian gas. Two tenets of the plan will be to reduce demand for gas more quickly than supply is reduced (to avoid disruptions and price volatility) and the ongoing development of gas resources, in ways which support Australia’s net zero objectives (e.g. through emissions reduction, capture and offsets).
Commonwealth Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, announced the $2.0 billion Hydrogen Headstart program is now open for applications.
In early-October 2023, BHP CEO, Mike Henry, spoke at the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee 60th Annual Joint Business Conference, and called for policy clarity to ensure ongoing foreign investment in Australia.
On 12 October 2023, the New South Wales Government introduced its landmark Climate Change Bill, to enshrine its emissions reduction targets in law in New South Wales and establish an independent Net Zero Commission. The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 commits New South Wales to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. The Net Zero Commission will monitor the state’s progress to net zero and report annually to ensure parliamentary transparency and accountability.
On 11 October 2023, the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth released its report on Australia’s transition to a green energy superpower, which examined how Australia can build on its strengths and opportunities to become a leading destination for trade and investment in the future global green economy. The 16 recommendations made by the committee focus on the role for the Australian Government to accelerate Australia’s opportunities and address challenges.
National Electricity Market – 1 second FCAS market kicked off: The Very Fast Raise and Lower Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets commenced operating on 9 October 2023. These new markets, which join the existing, longer-interval (six second, 60 second, five minute) FCAS markets, will incentivise and compensate participants capable of providing very fast frequency response (e.g. batteries) to help control power system frequency.
Victoria-South Australia Capacity Investment Scheme initiated: On 30 August 2023, the Commonwealth Government announced a tender under the Capacity Investment Scheme targeting 600 MW of dispatchable capacity (with a four-hour equivalent duration) across Victoria and South Australia, to offset the loss of capacity from the scheduled closure of South Australia’s Torrens Island B power station in 2026 and Victoria’s Yallourn power station in 2028. Successful tenderers will be offered long-term revenue underwriting of their projects, providing additional investment certainty. The Victorian-South Australian tender follows a recent partnership between NSW and the Commonwealth to add a 550 MW CIS component to the New South Wales Energy Roadmap’s firming tender.
Australian Climate Service independent review: The Commonwealth Government has commissioned an independent review of the Australian Climate Service to ensure Australia has the systems and information required to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The review will provide advice on the performance, scope and resourcing needed to deliver on Australia’s future climate information needs.
Reliability Panel will apply emission reduction objective to its decision making: Following the introduction of an emission reduction objective into the National Electricity Objective, the AEMC and Reliability Panel will now apply an emissions reduction objective to their duties and deliberations on rule change processes. The emissions reduction component will be considered alongside existing National Electricity Objective criteria that guide the market bodies’ work, such as price, quality, safety, reliability and security.
Submissions to the AEMC’s Integrating Price Responsive Resources in the National Electricity Market Consultation Paper closed on 14 September 2023. AEMO has submitted a rule change request to the AEMC proposing a voluntary “scheduled lite” mechanism to allow non-scheduled price responsive consumer energy resources to participate in scheduling processes in the NEM.
On 20 September 2023, the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) released its Australia’s Guarantee of Origin (GO) Scheme Design Paper. Australia’s GO Scheme will underpin the development of clean energy markets and international trade in renewable energy and low emissions products, such as green hydrogen.
In its latest State of the energy market 2023 report, published in early-October 2023, the AER highlighted a range of vulnerabilities to the reliability of energy supply as coal generation exits the market. In particular, it highlighted the sensitivity of the market to outages among ageing plant, lack of coordination of consumer energy resources (e.g. rooftop PVs and household batteries) with the rest of the market, a shortfall in committed new energy projects (partly as a result of ongoing supply chain issues) and the risk of a disorderly withdrawal of coal.
In early October 2023, the Clean Energy Council released its Power Playbook, which contains 45 recommendations to the Federal Government, designed to ensure Australia gets back on track for 82 per cent renewables by 2030 and in a position to seize global opportunities in renewable energy. The submission sets out a structure for the creation of a formalised national masterplan.
The Central West Orana REZ (in New South Wales) has lodged an Environmental Impact Statement for a transmission project that will connect the REZ to the grid, making it the first REZ in Australia to reach this stage of development.
Ahead of COP28, the International Climate and Energy Summit in Madrid sought to build a broad coalition behind efforts to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5oC within reach. At the summit, which was co-hosted by the Government of Spain (which currently holds the EU Presidency) and the International Energy Agency, Ministers from close to 40 countries around the world called for the pace of energy efficiency improvements to be doubled, the ramping up of electrification and the reduction of methane emissions, and a tripling of renewable capacity, all by 2030.
Soaring demand for metals and minerals crucial for global emission reduction, combined with low commodity prices driving investors and mining firms to cut spending, are expected to lead to significant shortages of key elements needed for the energy transition, according to a new analysis from McKinsey.
In early-October 2023, The Australian Financial Review released a new intelligence report commissioned by Westpac which highlights that the pace at which Australia’s hydrogen industry is currently being developed risks impacting its competitive advantage. The report draws on experts including former chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel; Wood Mackenzie hydrogen expert, Flor Lucia de la Cruz; Australian Hydrogen Council CEO, Dr Fiona Simon; and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development industry program lead, Deger Saygin.
The ACCC issued a draft determination to deny authorisation for AEMO and electricity industry NEM participants to coordinate the scheduling of repairs, maintenance, renewals, upgrades and new connections and associated information sharing. This follows the ACCC authorising broader coordination arrangements in 2020, and then again in 2022, for AEMO and industry participants to respond to issues arising, firstly from the impact of COVID-19 and subsequently from the energy crisis.
During September 2023, Climate Action 100+, a worldwide coalition of 700 investors responsible for $US68 trillion ($107 trillion) in assets under management, released its assessments of Australian companies, revealing that many are falling behind in their climate ambitions. The annual benchmark of 14 of the country’s biggest ASX listed companies, found most companies’ actions remain well short of the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.
During the month, Jobs and Skills Australia released a Commonwealth Government-commissioned analysis of opportunities, risks and required reforms associated with the transformation of Australia’s workforce to enable the energy transition. The report highlights a potential shortfall in trade qualified workers, emerging skills gaps in regional Australia and participation barriers for women, First Nations people and migrants. It also discusses the opportunity which it says exists for a fit for purpose tertiary skills, training and qualifications system, and proposes a worker-centred approach to support communities transitioning to low emissions economies.
KPMG published a study of sustainability maturity across companies in a range of countries, industries and revenue sizes. The study showed that just one in four companies are in advanced stages of preparation to obtain independent assurance on the sustainability information they report, despite 66 per cent of surveyed companies being required to disclose sustainability data either currently or in the near future. The study indicated that 56 per cent of companies are publicly reporting sustainability data, and while 93 per cent of these are providing some level of external assurance, only 14 per cent are obtaining reasonable assurance, and 16 per cent limited assurance. The survey acts as a timely reminder of the need to coordinate assurance services early, as there seems likely to be a shortfall in available resources as the deadlines for the implementation of new reporting requirements in Australia draw near.
Sam Gaffney brings an unparalleled understanding of the industry to his role as Stanwell Energy’s Commercial and Industrial Products Manager, with over two decades of experience in developing and operating innovative and efficient systems and tools for the energy market.
Sam is responsible for developing and overseeing all commercial elements of Stanwell Energy’s contracting activities, and works with the Retail Sales team to identify opportunities for new products that are suited to our customers’ needs.
Utilising his in-depth knowledge of the market and exceptional analytical skills, Sam works to develop Stanwell Energy’s products in line with the commercial, operational and regulatory landscape, and ensures all pricing and contracting strategies for our customers are consistent with the best available intelligence.
A true renaissance man, Sam is a gifted mathematician, a talented musician, a quiz show champion and even a Rubik’s Cube record holder. He sets the highest performance standards for himself in all aspects of life, and works persistently to exceed those expectations, while fostering a culture of excellence within the Stanwell Energy team.
Future-oriented and strategic, Sam takes a big-picture, long-term view of the market and Stanwell Energy’s role in it, and ultimately seeks to ensure our retail offering continues to be professional, innovative and ethical as the industry evolves.
The first month of Spring brought sunny days, an El Niño announcement and more uncertainty over the future of Eraring Power Station. Here’s your September energy market update.
In the spot market, prices dropped across Queensland (down $16.86 to $50.77) New South Wales (down $28.77 to $64.54) and Victoria (down $38.35 to $26.31), with sufficient generation to meet AEMO’s requirements throughout the month of September.
Due to the number of sunny days, solar generation dominated the grid in the middle of the day, resulting in the spot market prices being negative for most of the day.
In the contract market, prices continued to lift in Queensland (up $5.65 to $101.70) and New South Wales (up $3.60 to $125.40), only dropping marginally in Victoria (down $0.40 to $73.20).
An El Niño weather pattern has been confirmed for the summer season ahead with expected warmer-than-usual temperatures and reduced rainfall, which is affecting contract prices and will no doubt affect the spot market as we head into the warmer months.
Uncertainty over the future of Eraring Power Station in New South Wales is also causing volatility in the market with its 2025 closure yet to be confirmed.
Looking further ahead to Cal 26, the Eraring closure is also impacting prices – where we saw minor movement from last month’s prices. Queensland was up $2.85 to $95.75, New South Wales rose $2.75 to $128.75 and Victoria dropped $0.20 to $75.00.
In the environmental market, there seems to be more sellers of Large-Scale Generation Certificates, or L-G-Cs. As a result the front end of the LGC Curve, particularly Cal 23, have traded lower (down $2.25 to $51.75).
Australian Carbon Credit Units, or A-C-C-Us, remained steady in September, dropping $0.10 to $30.40.
The Small-Scale Technology Certificates, or S-T-C, Clearing House is no longer in deficit, which has seen wholesale trading resume in late September at prices slightly lower than the clearing house cap of $40.00 (down $0.20 to $39.80).
And that’s it for September – wishing you all the best for October from the team at Stanwell Energy!
Over the past month, a lot happened on the political front:
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said the Federal Government will work with industry, advocacy groups, experts, unions and communities to develop detailed decarbonisation plans for heavily polluting sectors including industry, agriculture and land, transport and resources. Minister Bowen highlighted the creation of circular economies as an issue for all sectors to address.
The Queensland Government released plans for 12 renewable energy zones. The Government’s draft Renewable Energy Zone Roadmap, which is currently under consultation, will provide a blueprint for development of the zones, including the establishment of consultation groups and expert panels.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced the Hunter Valley as Australia’s second offshore wind zone. The declared area stretches over 1,800 square kilometres between Swansea and Port Stephens and lies 20 kilometres from the coast in the north and 35km in the south.
The Australian indicated that its Hydrogen Headstart program – a AU$2.0 billion subsidy program announced in the May Budget – will focus on providing revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects (like the CQ-H2 Project).
The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) released the Review of the National Hydrogen Strategy Consultation Paper on 7 July, following the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council agreeing to a review of the strategy on 24 February. The DCCEEW is seeking stakeholder views on how Australian governments can ensure we have a national strategy that is fit for purpose for our evolving hydrogen industry.
On 10 July, the Competition and Consumer (Gas Market Code) Regulations 2023 Legislative Instrument was published. The Regulations aim to address purported long-term issues in the wholesale gas market to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of gas. They impose requirements on agreements to supply regulated gas, including prohibitions on exceeding a reasonable price for making certain offers to supply regulated gas on a gas trading exchange, entering into agreements to supply regulated gas, or supplying regulated gas under such agreements.
On 19 July, the DCCEEW published the Safeguard Mechanism: International Best Practice Benchmarks Consultation Paper, discussing guidelines to set international best practice benchmarks for use under the reformed Safeguard Mechanism. Once finalised, the guidelines will inform the DCCEEW’s development of international best practice emissions intensities, which will be used to calculate baselines for new facilities and new products from existing facilities.
The AEMC published the Reliability Panel Guide to Applying the Emissions Component of the National Energy Objectives Draft Guide on 24 July 2023 following Energy Ministers approving an update to the National Electricity Objective which embeds emissions reduction as part of the long-term interests of electricity consumers. The AEMC will use this guide when applying the emissions reduction component of the updated national energy objectives, alongside the other considerations in the objectives, in its rule-making process and when making recommendations in reviews.
The full Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council (ECMC) met for the second time in Devonport Tasmania on 7 July 2023, with a focus on collaborating for climate change action and energy reliability and affordability. Key items agreed at the meeting included developing sectoral decarbonisation plans as part of the Net Zero buy 2050 Plan, reviewing the National Hydrogen Strategy (noted above) and the AEMC continuing work on the Congestion Relief Market and Priority Access (Transmission Access Reform). In the Communique, the Council also flagged that the Commonwealth will begin consultation with stakeholders on the design of a national Capacity Investment Scheme “imminently”.
Senior energy industry figures – including former Energy Security Board Chair, Dr Kerry Schott, former Snowy Hydro CEO, Paul Broad, and Engie Australia CFEO, Rik De Buyserie, – called out doubts about whether Australia is positioned to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction targets. Dr Schott said slow approval processes for big projects including transmission, along with a shortage of skilled labour where impacting the timing of the nation’s energy transformation.
Rio Tinto and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation announced they will build a $111 million hydrogen plant at Gladstone’s Yarwun alumina refinery, to help reduce carbon emissions from the refinery process. The move is reflective of a number of hydrogen projects Stanwell learned about on a recent clean energy study tour. These projects cater to local offtakes, and aim to reduce emissions from hard to abate industries such as steel production, aviation and shipping fuel development as well as chemical manufacturing.
23 August 2023
Renewable energy leader, RWE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with publicly-owned energy company Stanwell Corporation, establishing a strategic partnership to support the delivery of Stanwell’s 9 – 10 GW pipeline of renewable energy assets.
The partnership will commence with the development of two new wind farms in Central and Southern Queensland by 2029, and pave the way for future renewable energy projects, investment and innovation.
Under the MoU, Stanwell may secure energy offtakes and potential equity stakes in the proposed Theodore Wind Farm, a 1,100 MW project in development near Biloela and a second wind farm of up to 720 MW in early-stage development in Southern Queensland.
The initiative forms part of Stanwell’s strategy to build a renewables portfolio of 9 to 10 GW of generation and 3 to 3.5 GW of storage by 2035 to support the Queensland Government’s renewable energy target of 80% by 2035.
RWE expects that the two projects under the MOU will be completed by 2029 and will create more than 500 jobs during construction.
“We are thrilled to partner with RWE on two such significant projects. An additional 1.8 GW of clean energy by 2029 represents a major boost in our rapidly growing portfolio of renewable energy projects.
“This is a win-win agreement for the energy industry, Queensland and our commercial and industrial customers who want clean, reliable and affordable energy to power their businesses.
“And it strengthens Queensland’s position to deliver on the targets set out in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, bringing more investment and jobs into our regional communities.
“RWE Renewables Australia is backed the scope and experience of its parent company and driven by a commitment to support local through regional supply chains, community consultation and social investment – they are an ideal fit for Stanwell and for Queensland’s clean energy future,” Mr O’Rourke said.
RWE Global CEO said it is excited to be partnering with Stanwell to achieve Queensland’s renewable energy ambitions.
“RWE sees Australia as a very attractive renewable energy growth market and we are looking forward to working on developing the proposed Theodore Wind Farm.
“We are committed to increasing our presence in the Australian market, and the signing of this memorandum of understanding with Stanwell for Theodore, and another of our Queensland projects, is a demonstration of this commitment.”
The proposed Theodore Wind Farm is now in early development, undertaking project studies and community consultation.
The subsidiary RWE Renewables Australia has been developing utility scale wind and solar projects since 2018. RWE Renewables Australia is working on developing utility-scale wind, solar and battery projects in Queensland and other states.
The company has an exciting pipeline of projects and a growing team of more than 45 people, backed by the experience of the 5300 people strong team of RWE dedicated to onshore wind, solar, battery and offshore across the European, North American and Asia Pacific regions.
Stanwell is a major provider of electricity and energy solutions to Queensland, the National Electricity Market and large energy users throughout Australia.
Stanwell’s portfolio includes over 3000 MW of renewable energy under contract, in construction or development as well as two of the most efficient and reliable coal fired power stations in Australia—the Tarong power stations near Kingaroy and Stanwell Power Station west of Rockhampton.
Stanwell is developing a pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects throughout Central and Southern Queensland, finding cleaner ways to reliably generate and store electricity for customers and deliver on the Queensland Government’s renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035.
Stanwell is also driving the development of Queensland’s hydrogen industry and the use of other new technologies, with a $117 million FEED study underway to progress the development of the country’s largest renewable hydrogen export hub in Gladstone.
29 August 2023
Publicly owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation is developing a Future Energy Innovation and Training Hub (FEITH) to accelerate Queensland’s energy transformation at the Stanwell Power Station near Rockhampton.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni said, “The nation cannot meet its legislated emissions reduction targets without serious action in Queensland, so we are delivering the energy transition that Queenslanders and Australians voted for.
“The first place the Premier and I went following the release of our plan was the Stanwell Power Station to give the workforce the Government’s commitment to their job security and outline our blueprint to convert it into a Clean Energy Hub.
“We’re so serious about our plan that we’re legislating our renewable energy targets – 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035 – and putting our Jobs Security Guarantee into law.”
Minister de Brenni continued, “Because Queenslanders kept their energy network in public hands, they have unprecedented control over the destiny of their energy system in its transition to 70% renewable energy by 2032.
“While other states are scrambling to get out of coal-fired power, or even prop it up for longer, it’s Queensland who is now leading the nation’s orderly climate and energy transition.
“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is the most comprehensive, accountable, realistic, transparent, and effective plan for an energy transition – not just in the nation, but quite possibly the world.
“Our Queensland Draft Renewable Energy Zone Roadmap demonstrates our unique ability to deliver benefits for local communities through infrastructure, transport, housing and accommodation, workforce, supply chains, waste management, biodiversity protection other land uses, and social infrastructure, as well as local industry and First Nations considerations.
“We need to set the standard because public ownership gives us an extra layer of accountability to our workers, communities, and the environment, as well as to energy security and affordability for households and businesses.
“We’ve always said that Queensland’s publicly owned power stations will continue to play an important role in our future energy system as clean energy hubs because they are located in strong parts of the network with strategic advantages like grid connection, a highly skilled workforce, established community relationships, and land.”
The size of a shopping centre, the hub will provide facilities to pilot innovative new energy technology, including energy storage and hydrogen. It will also provide a real-life, hands-on training environment for Queensland energy employees to develop the skills needed to work on new energy technologies.
Stanwell Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Rourke shared that “the FEITH project will be the visible bright spark of Stanwell’s transformation to clean energy.
“Our vision is for FEITH to be a catalyst for advancing the energy transformation, not just at Stanwell, but for the entire State.
“It will be instrumental in the company’s goal to become a major provider of clean energy to Queensland and meeting our commitments to the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.
“It will increase our understanding of new energy technologies and their application in building Stanwell’s renewable energy portfolio and driving the development of Queensland hydrogen industry.
“And just as importantly, it will help us create the energy workforce Queensland needs for the future through hands-on skills development and training,” said Mr O’Rourke.
The first technology to be tested at FEITH will be an iron flow battery, in partnership with Queensland-based company Energy Storage Industries – Asia Pacific (ESI).
ESI Managing Director Stuart Parry said that the pilot project with Stanwell was a first in Australia for iron flow batteries – a grid-scale and environmentally friendly energy storage solution.
“Queensland is at the forefront of battery technology development, and this transaction reinforces the state’s reputation as a leader in the renewable energy economy,” Mr Parry said.
“ESI is already establishing a $70 million facility in Maryborough to manufacture iron flow batteries, and will manufacture the electrolyte solution in Townsville, supporting jobs and investment in the regions.
“We look forward to working with Stanwell to deliver this pilot project as an important step in deploying sustainable energy storage to help underpin Queensland’s energy transformation.”
A revolutionary 5 MW hydrogen electrolyser will also be validated in a pilot project at FEITH. The super-efficient electrolyser is being developed by Australian startup Hysata.
CEO Paul Barret said, “Hysata is proud to be a foundation technology project for Stanwell’s new FEITH, where we will partner to commercially demonstrate our high efficiency electrolyser.
“This project is an important step towards Hysata reaching gigawatt scale manufacturing by 2026 to fulfil burgeoning demand for our electrolysers.
“We congratulate Stanwell for their investment in renewables and new technologies critical to decarbonise the power grid and scale green hydrogen for use in hard to abate sectors.
“We look forward to leveraging Stanwell’s electrical infrastructure and highly skilled workforce through this project, to commercialise world leading technology that can accelerate the path to net zero.”
Stanwell has also partnered with CQUniversity to collaborate on skills, training and technology initiatives focused on renewable hydrogen and battery energy storage systems.
Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity Australia, said “this is an extremely important and exciting milestone when it comes to clean energy production in Central Queensland.
“The Future Energy Innovation and Training Hub (FEITH) will provide a tremendous opportunity for Central Queensland to become a leader in not just clean energy production but also in clean energy research, training, and skills development.
“CQUniversity is proud to partner with Stanwell to develop a skills and training program for existing professionals, while also expanding opportunities for a new generation to acquire the skills required for emerging technology such as hydrogen and battery storage.
“Our researchers will also benefit through deep industry collaboration and co-location, allowing them to work on new innovations that will help to further advance the renewables industry in the region and beyond.”
Stanwell will complement CQU’s research facilities with access to FEITH, enhancing the real-world applications of the research by enabling hands-on training and technology development at a commercial demonstration scale.
The project is proposed to be delivered in phases, starting with the establishment of common infrastructure and civil works. Future phases include a skills academy and demonstration centre, where the community can come to learn about new energy technologies.