Queensland is an energy power house and ready for summer

Published Tuesday, 10 October, 2017 at 08:09 AM


Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Queenslanders can be assured the state’s electricity network is summer-ready following the delivery of an expert plan – a key outcome of the $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan.

While the Australian Energy Market Operator has predicted that Queensland’s electricity supply is secure and ready to meet customer demands for many years to come, the Palaszczuk government isn’t taking any chances with our energy security over the summer peak demand period. That is why our Energy Security Taskforce was established, and asked to prepare this plan.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey today unveiled the findings from Queensland’s new Power System Summer Preparedness Plan prepared by the newly formed Energy Security Taskforce.

Mr Pitt said the plan focusses on the critical issue of power system security and reliability.

“The report demonstrates that the state has more electricity supply than ever before to help meet peak forecast summer demand levels,” Mr Pitt said.

“Queensland is an electricity powerhouse and exports excess electricity almost all of the time.

“Queensland regularly experiences higher temperatures during the summer months and extreme weather events which place a higher than usual demand on our electricity network.

“The plan has been developed to firstly assess, and then ensure Queensland is well-prepared for the electricity demands the summer weather may bring.”

Mr Bailey said the addition of Stanwell’s Swanbank E gas fired power station and the enhancement of CS Energy’s Wivenhoe’s Power Station has increased generation capacity by 435MW ensuring there is adequate reserve above forecast peak demand.

“An additional 140MW of renewable energy will also be added to North Queensland over summer, including the commissioning of the 100 MW Clare Solar Farm,” Mr Bailey said.

“Medium Term forecasts from the AEMO indicate Queensland will have around 11,445MW to meet its predicted summer demand peaks of 9,790 megawatts.”

Taskforce Chair Terry Effeney said the plan was developed in consultation with government owned and private electricity generators, Powerlink, Energy Queensland and AEMO, and it details short term risks and opportunities to maximise generation availability.

“The plan ensures the state’s transmission, state interconnector assets and distribution network are going to be ready for the summer,” Mr Effeney said.

“The plan outlines how the state’s increasingly diverse mix of electricity will improve resilience to power system risks such as heatwaves and natural disasters, or unforeseen system failures.”

Mr Bailey said despite the secure supply, Queenslanders can also help by being vigilant with their power use this summer which will also help reduce their power bills.

“We can’t change the fact that Queensland will continue to have heatwaves and extreme weather events, and while we cannot predict every risk scenario the Taskforce has presented a way forward for the short and medium-term,” he said.

“To further strengthen our network security the plan includes the expansion of the PeakSmart program into regional Queensland, which offers cash incentives of up to $400 to consumers to encourage the installation of energy efficient air conditioners.

“This program rewards households for helping to keep our grid secure by reducing demand at peak times in a way that most households don’t even notice.

“Our Energy Security Taskforce has confirmed the AEMO projections that Queensland is in a strong position to deliver a reliable and safe electricity supply through summer.”

Media contact:

Treasurer’s office – 0437 961 831

Minister Bailey’s office – 0428 079 640