Queensland approves $23 million renewable energy training facility


Queensland’s Planning Minister, Steven Miles, has expedited plans for a new training facility for renewable energy in the Brisbane suburb of Pinkenba, in the city’s east.

“The specialised training facility will provide pre-trade, apprenticeship and post trade courses for up to 300 students at a time and support 40 teaching positions,” Miles said in a statement about the announcement this afternoon.

“While we’re investing in renewable energy projects throughout the state, it is also important we invest in our workforce to deliver and maintain renewable energy infrastructure.”

The minister granted the facility approval through the Ministerial Infrastructure Designation process, an alternative pathway for the delivery of community infrastructure, including education facilities.

Miles said his decision will enable Electro Group, the training organisation behind the facility, to start construction and welcome students as soon as possible. Donna Pickford, Electro Group’s CEO, said construction is set to begin in September of this year, with students to arrive from mid-2022.

The Queensland state government is investing $17 million towards the $23 million facility, which it says will help it reach its 50% renewable target by 2030.

“Meeting our renewable energy target relies on having a pipeline of skilled Queenslanders ready to build and operate the energy infrastructure a growing industrial state needs,” Queensland’s Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni said.

“That’s exactly what the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility will deliver, with electrical, solar and telecommunications training to be offered to hundreds of Queenslanders each year,” he added.

The facility

Electro Group’s Pickford said the training facility will provide both current and prospective electrical workers with “classroom learning and out in the field training”.

This will see students able to access a 17m high wind turbine, a 20m high climbing tower, a 30m telecommunications tower and a 54 kw single axis tracking solar system, she said.

“Being able to provide both current and future electrical workers with this hands-on experience will mean they’ll be fully equipped to take on the jobs of tomorrow,” she added.

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