Stanwell Corporation’s 385MW Swanbank E gas-fired power station will come back online to increase supply and reduce volatility in the Queensland wholesale market.
Stanwell mothballed the 385MW plant in 2014 and sold the associated gas entitlements in readiness for a sell off to the private sector.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government was responding to failures in the National Energy Market and the associated higher electricity prices by bringing that capacity back into the market.
“It is expected that the potential impacts of bringing this additional capacity online in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to reduce the price volatility in the electricity market during this period,” he said.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey the State’s ability to take this action was a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to retain Stanwell as a state-owned asset.
Mr Bailey said the Swanbank E announcement was one of a raft of measures 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,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Bailey said the Powering North Queensland Plan includes developing strategic transmission infrastructure in North and Northwest of Queensland to support a clean energy hub and unlock renewable energy projects and jobs.
“We will also look at improvement works for the Burdekin Falls Dam and options to develop the proposed Burdekin Hydro power project as well as undertaking a feasibility study to identify potential hydro projects across Queensland,” he said.