Today: Aerial of Swanbank precinct today Potential future clean energy hub: Artist impression of a potential future clean energy hub

Slide the toggle to see how the current Swanbank site could be transformed to a clean energy hub

Swanbank Clean Energy Hub

A masterplan is a long-term plan that provides a vision and framework for how an area can be developed. A masterplan usually identifies the purpose for how different sections of land can be used, rather than highly detailed plans for various components of the final plan. For example, a masterplan could identify a parcel of land as being suitable for a playground, with the detail for the playground to be worked out later.

The Swanbank power station precinct has a proud history of coal mining and coal generation and it remains home to the highly efficient Swanbank E Combined-cycle Gas-fired Power Station. In line with objectives of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, CleanCo is now undertaking a master planning process to identify opportunities to redevelop the site to become a clean energy hub.

The site has existing infrastructure including critical connections to electrical transmission, water, gas and roads, making it an ideal location for energy and non-energy developments.

Through this transformation, CleanCo will ensure that the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub remains a valuable energy asset for Queensland for decades to come.

The total land area of the Swanbank energy precinct is 336 hectares or about 830 football fields.

As illustrated in the image below, the legacy ash dam (marked in blue) covers 153 hectares and the Swanbank E Power Station station area (marked in orange) covers 114 hectares and includes Swanbank Lake.

The purple area covers 24 hectares and is the location of the current administration building and is where Swanbank A and B coal-fired power station used to be, including land areas associated with the Powerlink high voltage switchyards (coloured yellow).

The rural residential area (coloured green) amounts to 45 hectares.

The Swanbank precinct has long provided job opportunities and economic benefits for the community and it is CleanCo’s intent to ensure it continues to contribute to the prosperity of the region for decades to come.

With an overall transmission network capacity of approximately 1.2GW, the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub will continue to play a critical role in Queensland’s energy network, with significant potential for new energy opportunities and alternative storage options.

In September/October 2023, CleanCo held an EOI process with industry to understand the suitability and commercial readiness of various energy technology options available to the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub, including potential hydrogen use and production opportunities. The response from industry was excellent. CleanCo is now reviewing the responses to prioritise the energy development opportunities that best fit the site and CleanCo's portfolio.

Other energy and non-energy uses are also being investigated, including research and development facilities.

Through the master planning process, CleanCo will work with industry and community stakeholders to identify the best uses for the site.

The core purpose of the masterplan is to guide the optimal development of low-emission energy generation and storage opportunities, however it is recognised that there are also opportunities for non-energy industry, environmental initiatives and community facilities.

CleanCo has been investigating various energy opportunities for the site including battery storage, hydrogen, solar and rehabilitation pathways.

The history of coal-fired power generation at the site has left a legacy of rehabilitation activities. CleanCo has progressed several studies to rehabilitate both the ash dam site and some mapped areas of contaminated land.

Waterway health and ecological values for the region are also being investigated as opportunities for improvement as part of the master planning.

CleanCo acknowledges that the Swanbank energy precinct has long played a key role in the region’s cultural, social and economic landscape.

Through the master planning and authentic co-design process, we will explore opportunities to preserve and celebrate the past while also looking to the possibilities of the future.

Yes. Swanbank E Combined-cycle Gas Power Station is one of the most efficient gas power stations in Australia. The continued operation of this low-emission power station is critical for supporting the transition to a renewable energy future. With flexible and fast ramping capability, Swanbank E provides a reliable supply of low-emission energy when there is no wind or sun to supply demand on the network.

CleanCo is continuing to refine operations at Swanbank E to further increase efficiency and reduce emissions.

Throughout 2022 CleanCo undertook preliminary investigations to understand the key constraints of the site and develop concept maps identifying the potential opportunities for the site.

In March 2023, CleanCo invited Ipswich residents to join a Community Co-design Panel. Panel recruitment was coordinated by a third party, to ensure we involved a diverse range of people. Thirty people from across greater Ipswich were invited to join the panel.

In May and June 2023 we held 3 one-day workshops with the Community Co-design Panel, to develop a draft masterplan for the site.

This draft masterplan was shared with the Ipswich community from August - October 2023.

The masterplan was endorsed by the CleanCo Board in December 2023.

In 2024 CleanCo is progressing a range of studies to investigate feasibility options for the masterplan, taking into account operational and core business requirements.

CleanCo is aware of odour issues in the Swanbank region, and the impact that this has for nearby residents.

CleanCo’s operations do not produce any odour and we actively monitor all of our operations to ensure we meet environmental requirements. We actively pass on the feedback we receive from community on odour to relevant operators in the region.

Find out more about the Odour Abatement Taskforce here and report odour here or by calling 1300 130 372 (option 3).

Co-design process

Co-designing means working towards an agreed plan together. It is different to consultation; which is where a company develops a plan and then invites feedback. This is an opportunity for mutual learning.

We believe the latter approach (consultation) limits ideas and does not take in local aspirations, and local knowledge. CleanCo wants to develop a masterplan that takes into account what matters to the local community.

Although much of the detail needs to be worked out later, co-designing the masterplan will ensure we are clear on the purpose of how different parcels of land will be developed in the future, and how the community will benefit.

CleanCo is taking a co-design approach because we believe it will improve outcomes. Building a long-term positive relationship with the local community and our stakeholders is a very important objective for CleanCo.

The CleanCo Board has made an initial financial commitment to this process and is committed to responding thoughtfully to the recommendations arising from the co-design process. The Board will ultimately determine the final masterplan, with the intent of incorporating as many of the co-design recommendations as possible.

We have provided a detailed outline of the co-design process used for the Swanbank Clean Energy Hub on the Reimagine Swanbank homepage. This short video also explains how we collaborated with the Ipswich community to develop the draft masterplan.

We want to make the most of the land we have to achieve a range of objectives, including improved community facilities and educational opportunities. We believe stakeholder and community input will help us all to achieve the best outcome.

Early in 2023, CleanCo invited Ipswich residents to join a Community Co-design Panel. This panel met for 3 masterplanning workshops in May and June. The draft masterplan developed by this panel was shared with the broader community from August to October. The CleanCo Board endorsed the masterplan at its December 2023 meeting.

There will be further opportunities to be involved and contribute in the coming years. We will be promote these opportunities through our regular Project Update emails. Sign up for these updates on the homepage.