Sod turning for $23 million investment in Queensland’s renewable future

Published Thursday, 23 September, 2021 at 12:33 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

A $23 million boost to Queensland’s renewable energy sector workforce has begun today with a sod turning at the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility (RETF).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new state-of-the-art training facilities will help prepare Queensland’s workforce for the growing interest in renewable energy and hydrogen.

“Queensland’s renewables industry is already worth $8.5 billion – this is a vital investment in Queensland’s future and will help us meet our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030,” the Premier said.

“We need facilities like this now, so trainees and apprentices can develop the skills they need to ensure Queensland is ready to go as interest in and the need for renewable energy and hydrogen worldwide soars.

“That’s why we put investing in skills at the heart of our $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“With our abundance of solar and wind, Queensland is the ideal candidate to produce hydrogen for domestic and international use.”

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the facility will attract new workers to the industry as well as meet demand from existing apprentices and tradespeople.

“The facility will provide pre-trade, apprenticeship and post trade courses for up to 300 students at a time and support 40 teaching positions,” Minister Farmer said.

“We know that if you get the right training you’re more likely to get the right job, and this is absolutely vital when it comes to the growing hydrogen industry – we need Queenslanders skilled up and ready to take full advantage of the hydrogen boom.

“RETF will offer training in electrotechnology and renewable energy through classroom learning and in-field training and will be the only Queensland training facility to provide a Certificate IV – Electrical in Renewable Energy qualification.

“In addition to training apprentices, the facility will assist licensed electricians to upgrade their skills to install, operate and manage solar and other renewable energy equipment safely.

“More than 40 jobs will also be created during the RETF’s construction.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to achieving 50 per cent of renewables by 2030 and this facility is another step – a vital investment – to help us reach this target.

“Across Queensland, more than $50 million is being invested in training facilities that will provide workers with skills to enter into the growing renewable energy and hydrogen industry.”

The RETF will feature a 17-metre high wind turbine, 20-metre high climbing tower, a 30-metre telecommunications tower and a 54-kilowatt single axis tracking solar system and will be constructed according to world’s best practice in electrical, solar renewable energy and telecommunications training.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Queenslanders knew how to create export industries and this training would help Queensland become a renewable hydrogen superpower.

“Our emerging renewable hydrogen industry is reliant on clean energy to create a zero carbon product for both export and local industry including transport,” Minister de Brenni said.

“The last time Queensland embarked on the creation of a new energy industry, LNG supported around 15,000 new jobs, giving an indication of the demand we are poised to create for additional high skilled jobs in renewables. 

“By 2030 Queenslanders will demand several thousand megawatts of new renewable energy on top of existing traditional generation which means an energy construction jobs boom is about to start.”

To support the growing workforce needs of the renewable energy industries, under the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future initiative the Queensland Government funding includes $10.6 million for a Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility at the Bohle TAFE campus in Townsville.

A further $2 million will be directed to deliver new hydrogen training facilities at Gladstone State High School.

The Pinkenba facility will be operated by Electro Group Training, which will be responsible for its design and construction by June 2022.


Media contact for Minister Farmer: Kate Talbot, 0439 803 211

Media contact for Minister de Brenni: Dan Knowles, 0432 681 664