Stanwell’s 385MW Swanbank E gas-fired power station will be fired up again as part of the Queensland government’s $1.16 billion energy plan.
In 2014, Stanwell placed the power station into cold storage and sold the associated gas entitlements in readiness for a sell off to the private sector.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said firing the power station up again was necessary after the extreme record heat waves and a lack of federal energy certainty under the Turnbull government that has undermined industry investment and placed upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.
“We can’t control the weather but we can take action now to bring the state-owned Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online in time for the summer months,” he said.
“Our ability to take this action is a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to retain Stanwell as a state-owned asset. This action wouldn’t be possible under the LNP who wanted to sell of our assets.
“Because of our commitment to public ownership we’ve been able to take decisive action in the best interest of Queenslanders to put downward pressure on wholesale prices and ensure a secure electricity supply – even when demand is at its highest.”
Mr Bailey said the announcement is one of a raft of measures announced this week by the Palaszczuk Government to help stabilise electricity prices and boost supply.
“On Wednesday, we announced the government would invest $770 million to remove the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme from network charges for the next three years after the independent Queensland Competition Authority released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland.
“This intervention will slash the QCA’s original price increase in half, delivering a saving of around $51 for households and $90 for small business.
“On Friday, I was in Townsville with the Premier and we announced our Powering North Queensland Plan, which will see $386 million spent on unlocking the region’s renewable energy resources, securing economic growth and supporting 5000 jobs.”
APPEA Queensland director Rhys Turner said the plan clearly showed the state’s commitment to gas-fired generation.
“Australia has an abundant supply of accessible natural gas; it is a cleaner and proven alternative to other energy generation methods; it is therefore only right that gas should play a key role in our energy mix,” Mr Turner said.