Emission Control: Brisbane to host $2.5b Supernode data storage project powered by renewables
Brisbane will soon be home to a $2.5bn data storage precinct powered by renewable energy as well as one of the largest battery storage installations in the National Electricity Market (NEM) following an announcement by Quinsbrook Infrastructure last week.
The Queensland-based renewables investment manager said it plans to build a ‘Supernode’ data storage project on a 30ha site in Brendale, which will host up to four hyper-scale data centres and connect directly to the adjacent South Pine substation offering up to 800MW of power supply capacity with three separate high voltage connections.
This will be one of the largest ‘green data’ storage facilities in the Southern Hemisphere and puts the state on the global map with direct data connectivity to the world for the first time.
Quinbrook has also lodged an application for a 2,000MWh Battery Energy Storage System (‘BESS’) to be co-located within the Supernode precinct, creating a ‘first of a kind’ project offering an innovative solution to the critical stability issues facing the Queensland power grid as recently identified by AEMO.
It is expected the BESS will add valuable dispatchable supply services to the grid to firm additional renewables capacity and put downward pressure on power prices while also reducing the risk of power outages for all Queenslanders.
Quinbrook co-founder and managing director David Scaysbrook says the site at Brendale follows close on the heels of a similar recent investment in Texas made by the investment manager of a ‘green data center’ campus at Temple, near Austin – the initial phase of which became operational last month.
“Queensland can now compete more aggressively with the rest of Australia on the fundamentals of cost, sustainability of operations and latency in order to attract leading data storage operators and create the necessary foundations for the next digital age,” he says.
Earlier this month, Squadron Energy – a company in the Tattarang Group (Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s private investment company) – kicked off stage-one construction works at the $3b Clarke Creek renewable energy precinct in Central Queensland.
These works will deliver 100 wind turbines and produce around 450MW of green energy by 2025, of which 346.5MW will supply the Stanwell Corporation under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Upon completion of both stages one and two, the Clarke Creek wind, solar and battery farm will deliver enough energy to power 660,000 homes – equivalent to 40% of Queensland household as well as displacing 2.7Mt of carbon each year.
The project, which is being built on 6,300ha across eight private landholdings, is currently the largest renewable energy project under construction in Australia.
Forecasts from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) show a nine-fold increase in wind and solar capacity is needed by 2050 to meet the nation’s net-zero emissions targets.
Tattarang chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said the Clarke Creek wind farm will be crucial in delivering on that demand.
“We will deliver affordable energy for Australian families and industry without destroying the environment like carbon emitting fuels do,” Dr Forrest said.
“When fully operational, Clarke Creek will displace enormous amounts of carbon each year by harnessing the renewable energy of the wind and sun to power our homes and commercial premises, providing cheaper energy without the hidden costs associated with coal-fired power stations.”
Squadron Energy chairman John Hartman said the Clarke Creek project has an excellent combination of strong and predominantly night-time wind energy generation to complement Queensland solar production.
“There is currently a large supply gap in wind generation in order to meet 2030 projections due to the electrification of industry and transport, and we believe large energy hubs like Clarke Creek, which leverage multiple technologies and storage to deliver firmed power, are a crucial solution,” Hartman said.
Spanish start-up H2Site has secured $12.5m euros ($18.2m) from Breakthrough Energy Ventures – a Bill Gates-led fund – French utility Engie SA and Norwegian oil giant Equinor ASA to develop a technological solution to the hydrogen transport problem.
The funding will accelerate the scale up of H2SITE’s integrated membrane reactor and membrane separation technologies to obtain fuel cell purity hydrogen from ammonia or methanol cracking or enable hydrogen transportation in existing natural gas infrastructure.
H2SITE will also increase its membrane manufacturing capabilities at its membrane manufacturing plant in the North of Spain.
Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures says hydrogen is a promising pathway to decarbonise many parts of the economy but transporting it remains one of the biggest challenges.
“H2SITE has developed a solution that solves the transportation issue and will change the game for how quickly hydrogen can be deployed in already established pipelines which in turn could save billions of dollars in infrastructure costs,” he says.
This fortnight’s biggest gainer is PRL.
The company recently received confirmation of traditional owner consent at its HyEnergy Project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
The Nganhurra Thanardi Garrbu Aboriginal Corporation (NTGAC) and the Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) have provided formal consent for regulators to issue land licences across the 870sqkm of land around Carnarvon.
Province has already secured two Section 91 licences over land near Carnarvon and is working towards securing others.
In March, Province announced the completion of a positive scoping study for HyEnergy, paving the way for the development to begin pre-feasibility studies.
HyEnergy has been recognised by the Western Australian Government as a significant project which is in the State’s interest, and has awarded the development lead agency status.
Bioenergy player Delorean has been named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 5 Sustainability Leaders.
Australian companies are now leading the charge of decarbonisation, but the challenge is to ensure that this can generate the sustainable returns required to attract capital and customers and incentivise suppliers and employees.
The company was awarded the place in the Resources, Energy and Utilities Category, an accolade that DEL believes provides a high level of credibility for its position as a truly green investment opportunity.
Last week HXG provided an update on its McIntosh Nickel/PGE project and WAH2 Hydrogen Project.
WAH2 has progressed through discussions with potential strategic partners and land applications have been submitted for preferred locations.
Hexagon has also entered into a mandate with Equity Lifting Solutions for various services, including a potential gas supply for the project.
For stage one, the project will consume up to 21TJs/day of gas for conversion to hydrogen increasing to 71TJs/days for full scale production.
The company plans to source power from renewable sources to minimise the sequestration capacity required and, as part of its hybrid approach, to ultimately maximise the renewable nature of the process as technology and economics permit.
LIT’s subsidiary, EnviroStream Australia, received its first cash rebate from the Australian Government’s B-cycle Scheme for collecting, sorting and recycling of end-of-life batteries at the beginning of the month.
Envirostream is accredited by B-cycle as a collector, sorter, and recycler of batteries and has worked closely with B-cycle to implement the necessary requirements for the scheme.
The scheme became operational on January 4 2022 and provides rebates to accredited parties for eligible batteries collected, sorted, and recycled in Australia.
Envirostream and B-cycle are helping create a responsible battery lifecycle, by keeping batteries out of landfill where they can leak toxic materials into the environment.