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Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners is a specialist in investment management focused on new infrastructure for the energy transition. Recently, Quinbrook announced the launch of one of the largest permit-approved data storage campus projects in the Southern Hemisphere.
Quinbrook’s ‘Supernode’ project will also host one of the largest battery storage installations in the Australian National Electricity Market.
The project site is adjacent to South Pine Substation at Brendale, which is the central point of the Queensland Electricity Network. It offers unprecedented power supply access and redundancy. Three separate high voltage transmission links support mission-critical data centers with Net Zero emissions.
Supernode, a digital infrastructure project of international significance, combines both critical energies with data storage capacity. It will be powered by Queensland-sited solar power projects. Brendale’s Supernode location is just 30km from Brisbane CBD. It will cross the Torus dark fiber data cable, which will connect Brisbane to the international submarine cable that recently arrived at Maroochydore.
Quinbrook secured a 30-hectare site at Brendale. Quinbrook also recently received permission from Moreton Bay Regional Council to build a multi-tenant campus with up to four hyper-scale data centers. These data centers will be connected directly to the South Pine substation, offering 800 MWs of power supply capacity and three high voltage connections.
This combination of Queensland’s abundant and low-cost renewable power resources with high-capacity power connections will provide Supernode customers with significant savings in renewable power costs relative to other campus locations. Quinbrook will procure, develop, and build the renewables supply capacity that Supernode customers require as they grow in energy demand.
Quinbrook also submitted a code assessable planning request for a 2,000 MWh Battery Energy Storage System. (‘BESS) will be located within the Supernode Precinct. This is a unique project that offers an innovative solution to the stability problems facing Queensland’s power grid, as recently identified and confirmed by AEMO. BESS will provide dispatchable supply services that will increase renewables capacity, lower power prices, and reduce the chance of power outages. The Supernode BESS is one of several BESS milestones Quinbrook is currently developing and constructing in the US and UK, including the $2 billion+ Gemini Solar+BESS project in Nevada, US. This project recently closed the largest financing ever for a single US renewables project.
Digital Economy Leadership Opportunity
Queensland’s Supernode precinct gives them the chance to attract and build new digital economy businesses. Queensland will now be connected directly to the international subsea communications network, and have a material latency advantage over other data centers in the south. When fully built, the hyper-scale data storage infrastructure and BESS infrastructure will require a capital investment of approximately $2.5 billion.
Supernode, with the State Government’s focus to ensure Queensland leads Australia in renewable electricity and their support of the subsea cable already landed at Maroochydore by the State Government, is an ideal location for data center operators looking for cost-competitive renewables and unsurpassed power supply reliability. This makes it a compelling infrastructure solution for ‘Net Zero’.
This site has the best latency communication link to the Asia Pacific region via Australia’s east coast. It also provides access to abundant and cheap renewable power from all Queensland grid-connected regions through the South Pine substation. CBRE has been appointed by Quinbrook to manage Supernode’s customer engagement.
Supernode represents our latest strategy to make high-impact and difficult to repeat investments that decarbonize energy-intensive data centers using renewable power solutions. Brendale is an exceptional location in the Pacific and well deserving the title of ‘Supernode. Brendale is a follow-up to our investment in Texas, which created a similar 800 MW green campus at Temple, Texas, last month. Quinbrook’s team in Queensland conceived the unique opportunity and was instrumental in all of the project development work that brought us to this exciting stage. Queensland is now able to compete with Australia in terms of cost, sustainability, and latency. This will allow it to attract top data storage operators and build the foundations needed for the next digital age. Quinbrook’s founders are proud to play a part in supporting Queensland’s power grid during this critical phase of the state’s energy transition, when volatility and prices are high. Supernode will allow new digital industries to flourish and prosper in Queensland by using local, low-cost, renewable power that is free of carbon and high-quality data connectivity. This critical infrastructure is essential for the progressive industry in the State. It provides a competitive advantage in reaching Net Zero operations at a low cost, which may be the envy of other economies around the globe, said David Scaysbrook, Quinbrook Co-founder & Managing Partner
Brian Restall, Senior Director at Quinbrook, said, “Supernode was a particularly satisfying project because the Moreton Bay area is my birthplace. It is exciting to be delivering a ‘game-changer’ opportunity for Queensland. Supernode places Queensland on the map by connecting directly to the world with data connectivity.
“Adding large-scale batteries storage and renewables to address grid stress and high power prices is an extraordinary investment opportunity.” We would like to thank the Government of Queensland as well as Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support in achieving this significant milestone”, Brian Restall concluded.