Solar panels to be deployed at Brisbane Airport as part of renewable power deal.
Photo Credit: Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport secures renewable energy future

LONDON – Australia’s Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) has entered into an historic six-year agreement to secure power that is linked to renewable energy from Queensland’s Clarke Creek Wind Farm & Blue Grass Solar projects.

The move to renewable power is part of the Airport’s commitment to be net zero for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. 

Brisband Airport is the first customer to sign onto Stanwell Corporation’s renewable energy pipeline, which will supply up to 185 GWh of power each year. 

CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff hailed the landmark announcement, which supports Brisbane Airport Corporation’s dramatically accelerated sustainability target.  

“This energy deal delivers on Brisbane Airport Corporation’s commitment to be a sustainable world leading airport city. Queenslanders can travel through our terminals knowing their journey begins and ends at one of the world’s most sustainable airports once this energy begins flowing from regional Queensland.” 

“There are half a million businesses in Queensland. I’m proud that Brisbane Airport Corporation is customer number one for Stanwell’s renewable energy pipeline.” 

Powering airport operations

The energy that is linked to Stanwell’s renewable energy projects will power operations at Brisbane Airport, from the runway lights through to the terminals. It will also recharge Brisbane Airport’s fleet of electric buses, cars, Australia’s only electric aircraft refuelling truck and even electric lawn mowers. 

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said supplying linked renewable energy options for commercial and industrial businesses is a win-win for Queenslanders.  

“There are two major milestones to celebrate with this partnership—the energy offtake deal is the first renewable energy contract signed from Stanwell’s renewable energy pipeline and BAC is the first Queensland Airport to commit to reaching net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025,” Mr de Brenni said. 

Stanwell CEO, Michael O’Rourke, said Stanwell was proud to be supporting Brisbane Airport Corporation accelerate its net zero target by 2025 through its retail arm Stanwell Energy.  

“This is the first of many renewable energy options Stanwell Energy will be offering to support our commercial and industrial customers meet their decarbonisation requirements,” Mr O’Rouke said. 

Additional solar capacity at Brisbane Airport 

BAC is already producing solar energy from its 6-megawatt renewable energy system which harnesses energy from 18,000 panels installed across the airport. 

Today BAC announced it would increase this by adding another 5-megawatts of solar capacity on site. 

“But this is just the beginning. Soon we will transition the rest of our fleet vehicles to electric and continue to look at new opportunities to decrease our carbon emissions and that includes researching the development of an on-site blue carbon removal project within our 285-hectare biodiversity zone,” according to Gert-Jan de Graaff. 

BAC is a unique power customer in that it operates its own electricity distribution network across Brisbane Airport, supplying more than 500 businesses with power.  

Brisbane Airport’s Sustainability journey so far

  • 2010 285-hectare Biodiversity Zone established 
  • 2014 Australia’s first Green Star Communities rating 
  • 2018 Electric bus fleet rolled out 
  • 2019 Installation of airport solar installation 
  • 2021 Trial of artificial intelligence to reduce energy consumption in buildings with 12% reduction in energy use 
  • 2022 (August) Acceleration of net zero target by 25 years to 2025 
  • 2022 (August) Australia’s first all-electric refueller deployed to BNE by Air BP 
  • 2022 (November) Introduction to BNE of 100% electric commercial mowers 
  • 2022 (November) BAC to build another 5-megawatts of solar capacity 
  • 2022 (November) Announcement of renewable energy deal with Stanwell 

Brisbane Airport is a signatory of the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow 2030 Ambition Statement established to advance the introduction of low-carbon aviation fuels. This includes a commitment to 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel at Brisbane Airport by 2030. 

About Clarke Creek Wind Farm

The Clarke Creek Wind Farm is a 800 MW wind project located in Central Queensland, 150 km north-west of Rockhampton.  

 It will become one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere upon completion and is part of a wider 1,200 MW project being developed by Squadron Energy (part of the Fortescue Future Industries group), which will also comprise 400 MW of solar power and battery energy storage. 

 The first stage of the project is planned to include 100 wind turbines exporting 450 MW of electricity into the national electricity grid in 2024.  

 About Blue Grass Solar 

The Blue Grass solar farm project is a 200 MW solar facility designed to produce 420 GWh of green electricity each year, sufficient to power approximately 80,000 Queensland homes. 

 The project is located 14km from Chinchilla in the Western Downs council area of Queensland and is being developed by Spanish renewable energy producer X-ELIO.   

The electricity generated at the facility will be supplied to the national electricity market through an existing 132kV Chinchilla to Columboola transmission line network in the Western Downs, which is operated by Queensland’s transmission network provider Powerlink.  

Stanwell has signed an agreement with X-ELIO for 49MW offtake from Blue Grass Solar. 

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