The Queensland government has granted fast-tracked planning approvals for a new “state of the art” training facility in Brisbane that will provide specialist training to upskill tradies and electricians in renewable energy technologies.
Queensland planning minister Steven Miles said that he had given construction of the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility the green light, granting the facility a ‘Ministerial Infrastructure Designation’ allowing its construction to proceed.
“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.
“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 Ministerial Infrastructure Designation process will enable Electro Group to start construction and welcome students as soon as possible,” Miles added.
Queensland minister for renewable energy and hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said that the new facility would enable Queenslanders to be trained in new clean energy technologies and provided with the skills needed for the state to achieve its 50 per cent renewable energy 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,” 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.”
The facility will be operated by Electro Group, which said the new training facility would provide like-real world conditions for students and will include an operating solar farm and wind turbine onsite to provide hands-on training.
“This facility will ensure our electrical industry is up to the challenge as new renewable energy technology opens up more opportunities for global investors in Queensland.” Electro Group CEO Donna Pickford said.
“Our facility, will provide electrical workers with classroom learning and out in the field training, which will feature a 17m high wind turbine, a 20m high climbing tower, a 30m telecommunications tower and a 54kW single-axis tracking solar system.”
“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,” Pickford added.
The Queensland state government will contribute $17 million towards the facility’s total cost of $23 million – provided as part of the state government’s economic response to Covid-19 – and will benefit from the accelerated planning approval process available to community infrastructure that includes schools and educational facilities.
Construction at the new renewable energy training facility, located in the Brisbane suburb of Pinkenba is expected to comment in September, with the first students to commence training in mid-2022.