Sunshine Coast business soars thanks to renewable energy

Sunshine Coast business soars thanks to renewable energy Main Image

17 June 2024

A local Sunshine Coast business is flying high, thanks to an Asia-Pacific first leading the way in the rollout of renewables.

Startup company Infravision are revolutionizing power line construction with their innovative drone stringing systems, developed in the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

Their world-class powerline stringing system, which is developed, manufactured and assembled out of Coolum Beach, has seen publicly owned energy company Powerlink Queensland achieve an Asia-Pacific first in connecting a renewable energy project in North Queensland.

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

The project saw the longest section of high voltage electricity transmission line strung by drones in the Asia-Pacific region.

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

Projects like Kidston are being enabled by the Miles Government’s nation-leading Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, which provides the policy frameworks for business and industry to develop clean energy projects that contribute to the legislated goals of 70% renewables by 2032 and 80% by 2035.

The QEJP is also creating a platform that fosters new green collar jobs like those at Infravision.

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

Infravision’s significant expansion is largely thanks to their growing partnership with Powerlink, and the rollout of renewables in Queensland.

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

Since then, the company has gone global and now exports its tech to international customers in America, Canada and India.

Powerlink has tested the use of drones for line stringing on smaller projects to determine the technology’s feasibility.

To date the technology has proven to be more versatile, have less impact on landholders and is safer than established methods of using helicopters or ground crews.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Renewable Energy, Mick de Brenni: 

“These are green collar jobs being created right here on the Sunshine Coast, all thanks to renewable energy projects and government partnerships.

“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.”

“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.

“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.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Caloundra, Jason Hunt: 

“Having a company of this significance based on the Sunshine Coast is good news for our local economy and local jobs.

“We know the Miles Government’s plan to roll-out renewables across the state will deliver about 100,000 jobs in a clean economy future.”

“I’ve been working closely with the Miles Government’s candidate for Ninderry, Jo Justo, who is a passionate advocate for her community, and she is thrilled to see another local business on the Sunny Coast thriving thanks to our clean energy plan.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Nicklin, Rob Skelton:  

“The Sunshine Coast is a great place to kick-off a small business, and I congratulate Infravision on their world-class technology.

“It’s great to see a local business with local employees prosper on the global stage.”

Quotes attributable to Powerlink Chief Executive Officer, Paul Simshauser AM:

“We are constantly looking at ways to work smarter and connect Queenslanders to renewable energy in a cost-effective, safe way.

“I am proud of our team who are constantly on the lookout for innovation and new technologies to enhance the way we operate.

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

Quotes attributable to Infravision’s Global President of Air Operations Josh Williams::

"Infravision and Powerlink Queensland are setting new standards in the energy sector by delivering more efficient and sustainable transmission solutions. 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.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with Powerlink to drive further innovation in transmission construction to deliver the safest, most cost-effective outcomes for the benefit of Queensland's energy consumers.”

Quotes attributable to Infravision Regional Director Matt Jones:

“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.”