State-owned power company Energex has inducted 22 apprentices in Queensland, with the firm keen to build a talented pipeline of electricians for the future. The announcement came on the same day (January 19) that the organisation unveiled its new Battery Storage Trial.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Energex’s EsiTrain facility at Rocklea to launch the initiative, which she said could be a key part of the state’s energy mix moving forward.
“New technologies like solar battery storage will dominate the next phase of the solar energy industry, and with it a whole new opportunity for new jobs,” she explained.
“These new recruits will gain first-hand experience with the latest technology as part of their training here at Rocklea, which only cements Energex’s reputation as producing some of the world’s top electricians.”
Energex currently offers three apprenticeship trades: underground cable jointers, overhead linespeople and electrical fitter mechanics. All three jobs are crucial to developing and maintaining electricity infrastructure in Queensland.
Ms Palaszczuk claimed the energy grid will undergo significant changes over the next two decades, but she added that this could lead to new jobs being created in Queensland as a result.
Battery storage boosts solar hopes
The Battery Storage Trial will use Tesla-produced technology and innovations from other leading solar companies. Three battery systems will create real-time data for Energex that provides information to better integrate new technologies into energy networks.
“The government has a goal of one million rooftops, or 3,000 megawatts of solar PV capacity in Queensland by 2020, and the emergence of battery energy storage systems will play a key role in achieving that goal,” Ms Palaszczuk stated.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey was also in attendance when Energex launched the Battery Storage Trial. He said Queensland benefits from considerable solar resources, which means renewable energy suppliers have targeted the state as a place to market products.
According to Mr Bailey, the data collected during the trials will help guide technology development. The end goal is to achieve more affordable energy for consumers.
Terry Effeney, Energex CEO, said consumption habits are changing rapidly and network operators must provide customers with a wider array of choice regarding their energy options. Installing batteries at the Rocklea site shows the company’s commitment to adjusting the energy mix to cater to new demands.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator