Renewable energy projects boost local jobs on the Sunshine Coast

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Sunshine Coast company Infravision has revolutionised power line construction with their innovative drone stringing systems, enabling Powerlink Queensland to achieve a regional first by connecting a renewable energy project in North Queensland.

In partnership with Infravision, Powerlink is using drones to ‘string’ 50 kilometers of transmission lines, connecting the Genex Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro System to the Queensland electricity SuperGrid.

This marks the longest section of high voltage transmission line strung by drones in the region, the government said in a media statement.

“These are green collar jobs being created right here on the Sunshine Coast, all thanks to renewable energy projects and government partnerships,” said Minister for Renewable Energy Mick de Brenni.

He continued, “It’s these jobs we know will be at risk under an LNP Government, who will not commit to renewable energy targets, or the projects needed to help Queensland achieve them.”

The 250MW pumped hydro project will absorb renewable energy generated onsite by large-scale solar and wind, providing stability for the grid and helping to lower power prices.

Such projects are supported by the Miles Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, which aims for 70 per cennt renewables by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035, fostering new green collar jobs like those at Infravision.

Founded in 2018, Infravision has grown to over 70 employees in under five years and is expected to double in size, with an additional 70 jobs predicted in the next 12 months.

“Powerlink’s partnership with Infravision is further proof that Queensland’s policies and our commitment to a renewable energy future will lead to a jobs and economic boom in all pockets of the Sunshine State,” added de Brenni.

He noted, “Congratulations to Infravision and the team at Powerlink, whose ongoing partnership means stronger safety measures for field-workers, and greater job opportunities for Sunny Coast locals.”

Powerlink identified Infravision in 2019 through EnergyLab’s Scale Up Program as a supplier that could help deliver connection projects more efficiently.

Since then, Infravision has gone global, exporting its technology to customers in America, Canada, and India.

“We are constantly looking at ways to work smarter and connect Queenslanders to renewable energy in a cost-effective, safe way,” said Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser AM.

He added, “This technology has proven to be less intrusive for landholders, safer for our team, and gets the job done quicker.”

Infravision’s Global President of Air Operations, Josh Williams, highlighted the benefits of using drones: “Our collaboration is deeply focused on enhancing the safety of Queensland’s workforce, minimising environmental impact, and ensuring we get the job done on time.”

Meanwhile, Infravision’s Regional Director, Matt Jones, echoed these sentiments: “We take pride in how our collaboration with Powerlink is fostering innovation at our Queensland manufacturing facility, creating jobs for Queenslanders and enabling the integration of cutting-edge Australian technology and services to bolster the worldwide shift towards sustainable energy.”