Ipswich facility to take the heat out of power bills
GAS has been secured and staff are being recruited to bring the Swanbank E power station back on line after it was decommissioned three years ago.
The 385 megawatt Swanbank E power station was mothballed in 2014 with 25 staff dismissed but will restart in summer next year with up to 16 new jobs available.
The additional capacity ahead of the warmer months is expected to reduce the price volatility in the electricity market.
It comes after Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL all announced price increases of up to 20% for electricity and gas starting from July 1.
Companies blamed rises in wholesale power prices after large coal-fired power stations closed alongside increased demand from overseas gas markets for the price hike.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said new employees at the Swanbank site were expected to be in place by next month.
The power station will undergo a test run and commissioning, scheduled for November through December and is expected to be fully operational by early 2018.
"Restarting Swanbank E and bringing more supply to market is a key priority under our $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan, following failures of the National Electricity Market," Ms Palaszczuk told State Parliament yesterday.
"The State Government can restart the Swanbank E power station because it remains in public ownership."
Ms Palaszczuk said power prices increased an average 1.9% per annum over three years.
Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy Curtis Pitt said firing Swanbank E up again was necessary after the extreme record heat waves.
"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.
"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."