Stanwell and CQUniversity to power up renewable energy research and workforce development

9 November 2023

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between CQUniversity Australia and publicly owned energy company Stanwell Corporation, will see the University taking a lead in the delivery of renewables training, career development and research in Central Queensland.

This innovative partnership and commitment to skills development in the renewables space, is one of the foundation partnerships that will underpin Stanwell’s new Future Energy Innovation and Training Hub (FEITH).

The Hub located at the Stanwell Power Station near Rockhampton will support the acceleration of Queensland’s energy transformation to clean energy.

As part of the agreement, CQUniversity will collaborate with Stanwell on skills, training and technology initiatives focused on hydrogen, renewable energy and storage technology.

In particular, a special focus will be placed on career development, training and upskilling for existing Stanwell staff and other industry workers, as well as enhancing and expanding apprenticeship learning opportunities and interactions with renewable technologies.

The collaboration will also bring about opportunities for community and school engagement in order to increase interest in renewables and encourage a new generation to consider future careers in renewable energy.

Stanwell will also complement CQU’s existing research facilities in the region by providing researcher access to FEITH, enhancing real-world application and demonstration opportunities, and facilitating researcher and industry co-location.

Leaders from CQUniversity and Stanwell met on Wednesday, 8 November for a collaborative research showcase that aimed to highlight some of the key research projects currently being delivered and planned by the University in relation to renewable energy.

Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity Australia, said that the University was proud to be among the foundation partners of FEITH.

“This is an extremely important and exciting milestone when it comes to clean energy production in Central Queensland.

“Stanwell’s Future Energy Innovation and Training Hub is set to transform the way we think about energy generation and has the potential to put the Central Queensland region at the global forefront of renewables R&D, skills and employment, and innovation.

“The facility will provide a tremendous opportunity for Central Queensland to become a leader in not just clean energy production but also in clean energy research, training, and skills development.

“Our researchers will also benefit through deep industry collaboration and co-location, allowing them to work on new innovations that will help to further advance the renewables industry in the region and beyond,” said Professor Klomp.

He also added that Central Queensland was primed to create a world-leading clean energy ecosystem, and CQUniversity is proud to be supporting industry in this.  

“The development of the FEITH isn’t just a commitment to renewable energy but a commitment to the region’s capability to support it, and to future generations who will benefit from this emerging industry.”

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Rourke said this agreement with CQU will be invaluable in helping Stanwell create future pathways for our people and drive the development of Queensland’s hydrogen industry and other new energy technologies.

“We will capitalise on CQU’s first-class experience in developing and delivering training and education programs to ensure our employees are best equipped with the essential skills needed to make them leaders in the operation and maintenance of renewable energy technologies, including hydrogen.

“CQU’s state-of-the-art laboratories and research teams will also enable us to test new energy technologies and identify those capable of moving in to commercial-scale testing.”

Mr O’Rourke shared that “the FEITH project will be the visible bright spark of Stanwell’s transformation to clean energy.”

“It will increase our understanding of new energy technologies and their application in building Stanwell’s renewable energy portfolio and driving the development of Queensland hydrogen industry.

“And just as importantly, it will help us create the energy workforce Queensland needs for the future through hands-on skills development and training,” said Mr O’Rourke.

The size of a shopping centre, the FEITH project is proposed to be delivered in phases, starting with the establishment of common infrastructure and civil works. Future phases include a skills academy and demonstration centre, where the community can come to learn about new energy technologies.