Swanbank celebrates 50 years of power generation and charges towards a clean energy future

This month the Swanbank energy precinct celebrates 50 years since the completion of the original coal-fired power stations –Swanbank A and Swanbank B– which delivered reliable power and economic opportunity to south east Queensland over five decades. Now, Queensland powers towards a net zero future, the site is being transformed into a clean energy hub.

The Swanbank Clean Energy Hub will feature clean energy technologies, including the highly efficient Swanbank E gas-fired power station, enabling CleanCo to support large commercial and industrial businesses on their decarbonisation pathways.

It will also include a 250MW battery with two-hour storage capacity to be built on the site of the old Swanbank B power station. CleanCo has secured $330 million from the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund to progress the development of the battery which will be one of the largest in Queensland.

The Swanbank Clean Energy Hub draft masterplan is being developed with the input from the local community, with 30 people from across Ipswich participating in an innovative co-design process. The draft masterplan will be made available for public comment before it is finalised. 

At the celebrations on Tuesday, CleanCo CEO Tom Metcalfe said, “CleanCo is incredibly proud to be celebrating the Swanbank site’s 50th anniversary. We acknowledge the critical role it has played, and will continue to play, in Queensland’s energy supply chain.

“For more than five decades the Swanbank site has not only delivered reliable electricity for Queensland, it has been part of the social fabric of Ipswich, employing generations of families and playing a significant economic role in the region,” he said.

Mr Metcalfe highlighted CleanCo’s work to shape plans for Swanbank to deliver clean energy and strong social and economic opportunities into the future. He said, “By involving the community through co-design, we can be confident we will develop a masterplan that truly reflects local needs and values, and will guide CleanCo to create a precinct that will benefit the region for generations to come.”  

Also on site to celebrate with CleanCo, the Assistant Minister for Energy and Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum said, “Our proudly publicly owned Swanbank Power Station has played a vital role in the energy network in Queensland for 50 years, and is set to deliver reliable, low cost, low emission power for the next 50 years.

“The future for this iconic site is bright, with plans for community infrastructure and clean energy options going forward, including funding for a 250MW battery. These developments will help make Queensland a world-leading clean energy superpower,” he said.

The Assistant Minister thanked everyone in the local community who has participated in the community co-design process, and noted it is important that publicly owned sites like Swanbank continue to support good social and economic outcomes for the community.

Demonstrating the significance of the Swanbank site for the local community, the team was joined by Mr John Scott, a local resident and former Swanbank employee.

Mr Scott’s family has been associated with the Swanbank area since the late 1800s and he worked at the power station from 1969 to 2003.

Mr Scott has also been an active participant in the community co-design panel which has been charged with helping to shape the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub draft masterplan.

“As a member of the Community Co-design Panel, I was able to share my local knowledge and play a part in shaping the draft masterplan. I’m excited to see what the next 50 years brings for the Swanbank site,” he said.