REVEALED: How Swanbank E power station has boosted the grid
A RECOMISSIONED electricity station at Swanbank has helped keep Queensland's lights on and raised revenue during peak power usage periods.
The State Government directed energy producer Stanwell Corporation in 2017 to re-ignite its Swanbank E station as part of its Powering Queensland Plan.
It returned to operation in January 2018.
An auditor's report into the operation of Stanwell's Swanbank E found the station had produced about five per cent of Queensland's average electricity demand.
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden told parliament Swanbank E, the first gas combined-cycle plant in the nation to be recommissioned, could produce enough energy to supply a city the size of Townsville.
"The best thing about the power station is that it is quick to turn on," he said.
"When we need the power, it can start generating power in 30 minutes."
The plant had been in cold storage since 2014 when the LNP government sold off the gas entitlements to the station.
The 15-year-old plant has returned to full operational capacity to boost available megawatts during summer's peak demand periods, providing an extra 385 megawatts of power into the grid.
Mr Madden said its recommissioning allowed the state to create and sell its surplus electricity.
"With about 2000 megawatts of surplus power in Queensland, the State Government now has the ability to sell its excess to southern states," he said.
"Last year, about $200 million was injected into the state coffers through power sales, which drives down power prices for Queenslanders.
"The recommissioning of Swanbank E has helped the government achieve its plan of ensuring power prices do not rise above CPI."
Switching on Swanbank E has improved Queensland's energy security and helped reduce wholesale electricity prices in Queensland.
It is estimated at least 15 jobs have been created by the station's return.
In November a report authored by the auditor-general and published through the Queensland Audit Office found the switching on of Swanbank E helped reduce volatility in the market during the hot summer of 2017-2018.
"Swanbank E's return to service in 2018 added more generation capacity and electricity supply to the market, to meet the demand during these peak periods," the report said.
"The changes in bidding strategies for Stanwell and the return of Swanbank E to service contributed to less volatility in wholesale electricity prices in 2018 compared to the previous year."
In 2017 a record demand of 9,369 megawatts saw the state almost lose power supply.
There are four government-owned corporations, known as energy entities, that form the energy sector in Queensland.