Moreton Bay to host new $2.5 billion data storage facility

Moreton Bay to host new $2.5 billion data storage facility

Artist impression of the site in Brendale.

Global private investment fund Quinbrook Infrastructure has today announced it has received planning permission to build a $2.5 billion data storage facility in Brendale, Queensland.

Located 30km from Brisbane CBD, the 'Supernode' facility will intersect with the new Torus dark fibre data cable currently under construction, directly connecting the Queensland capital to the global cloud for the first time via the international subsea cable at Maroochydore.

Boasting plans to build one of the largest battery storage installations in the Australian National Electricity Market on-site, the data storage project aims to rely on renewables to simultaneously address high power prices, grid stress and the decarbonisation of the Sunshine State’s power supply.

“As Queenslanders, the founders of Quinbrook are delighted that we can play our part in helping support the power grid at a critical stage of the State’s energy transition when prices are high, and volatility is rife,” Quinbrook co-founder and managing partner David Scaysbrook said.

“With Supernode, we will help attract new digital industries to come and flourish here and prosper sustainably by using locally produced, low-cost, carbon-free renewable power and excellent data connectivity.

“This is the critical communications infrastructure needed by progressive industry in this State, and it represents a competitive advantage in achieving net-zero operations at low cost that may become the envy of competing economies the world over.”

The 30-hectare site is strategically located next to the South Pine substation at Brendale - the central node of the Queensland Electricity Network - and aims to offer "unparalleled" power supply access and redundancy.

Approval has been received for a multi-tenant campus of up to four hyper-scale data centres, offering up to 800 MWs of power supply capacity with three separate high voltage connections.

Quinbrook has lodged a ‘code assessable’ planning application for a 2,000 MWh battery energy storage system to be co-located within the Supernode precinct, which it hopes will offer an innovative solution to the critical stability issues facing the Queensland power grid recently identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Acting Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Supernode was an innovative new project and welcomed plans to bring large-scale storage facilities for data and battery energy to one site.

“This is one of the major new economy projects coming to Queensland thanks to the government’s strategic investment in digital technology infrastructure and renewable energy. We provided $15 million to support the Sunshine Coast Council in delivering Queensland’s first direct International Broadband Network Cable Landing Station, and we are seeing the benefits of that investment,” he said.

“The digital technology industry can now leverage the speed of the Sunshine Coast’s new international undersea fibre optic connection for uses such as efficient, large-scale data storage.”

“Today’s announcement shows what the future holds for Queensland’s digital and renewables economy and the creation of knowledge-based jobs,” he added.

The Supernode project is a critical component of Quinbrook’s APAC green data strategy, which develops and constructs renewable energy solutions for 'green' data centres, with the London-headquartered business hoping to commence construction on the battery storage infrastructure in mid-2023.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery said he was delighted the project was setting up operations in Brendale.

‘’Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a priority in Council’s Regional Economic Development Strategy to position the region as South East Queensland’s $40 billion engine room and to be a top regional innovation hub,” he said.

“As Council, we’re delivering jobs by actively working with the private sector and the state government to facilitate more investments and create 100,000 jobs.

‘’Brendale is a well-established industrial precinct that has been named one of the top 10 places to work in the greater South East Queensland region. Its credentials are buoyed by smart city infrastructure, high productivity, a sustainability focus and easy logistics and market access.”

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