Emergency Energy meeting: Two 100mw batteries could save Queenslanders $100mil in power prices

Queensland Conservation Council has called on Energy Minister Mick de Brenni to take a bold plan to build storage and commit to renewable energy long term to the first Energy Ministers meeting under new Federal Climate and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen tomorrow.

“We know that big batteries would save Queenslanders money. Our analysis found that two 100 megawatt, two hour batteries would have reduced wholesale electricity prices by over $100m in just one week in the February heatwave. We need Minister de Brenni to commit to a big battery build to solve the energy crunch.” Queensland Conservation Council Energy Strategist Clare Silcock said.   

“When South Australia faced blackouts, their response was to build a 100 megawatt battery in 100 days, bringing down power bills and delivering energy security. Queenslanders are about to be hit with a significant rise in power prices which means we need action from Minister de Brenni,” Ms Silcock said. 

“If South Australia could do it, Queensland can do it too. Minister de Brenni should commit to two 100 megawatt two hour batteries by the end of Winter, to start bringing down power prices for Queenslanders and safeguard our energy system ahead of summer,” Ms Silcock said. 

“After more than a year of planning, we are confident that Queensland Government can build batteries on land it already owns, connected to a transmission network it owns, to be operated by generators that it owns, quickly.” Ms Silcock asked.  

In the last 12 months, outages across all power stations have pushed up prices. In May, an average of over 3 GW of coal capacity was unavailable, around 40% of the state’s entire coal fleet.  

“The only time we’re getting any relief in prices is in the middle of the day when rooftop and large-scale solar is generating. This demonstrates how desperately we need more renewable energy capacity and more storage,” Ms Silcock said. 

Renewable energy expansion in Queensland has stalled since 2017 due to lack of political appetite that would make space for investment from renewable energy proponents. 

“We can’t rely on coal to get us out of this energy supply crisis. At tomorrow’s Federal Energy meeting, we need de Brenni to show that Queensland is ready for the jobs and industry opportunities that renewable energy delivers and the battery storage we need to keep prices stable long term,” Ms Silcock said. 

Media contact: Clare Silcock [email protected]