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Cairns set to supercharge with new network-connected battery


Cairns will soon be home to one of Queensland’s next electricity network-connected batteries, Energy minister Mick de Brenni announced recently. 

de Brenni said Far North Queenslanders understand the importance of adding more renewable energy to lower power prices and protect the future of the Great Barrier Reef and the jobs it creates. 

“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,” he said. “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 8MWh of energy. 

“This new battery system will deliver efficiencies for the network and also provide price benefits to residents and businesses across Cairns,” Crawford said. 

“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 CEO, 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. 

“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,” Duke said. 

The recent national Energy Ministers Meeting produced a clear consensus to address the ongoing global impacts on the energy market. 

“That consensus was to deliver more renewables and storage, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” de Brenni said. “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.” 

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