Siemens to develop smart energy tech in Queensland

Siemens’ Fusesaver technology

Siemens has opened a factory in Yatala to support global demand for smart infrastructure products for the energy sector.

The factory will see the production of Fusesaver – an innovative home grown product helping to eliminate up to 80 per cent of sustained electricity outages on rural networks in more than 30 countries and counting.

The current and future investment into the new factory, totalling about $25 million across five years will support local research and the manufacturing of Australian made smart infrastructure products for energy utilities worldwide.

Speaking at the launch this week, Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick welcomed the investment.

“Queensland has a proud history in developing smart infrastructure, including Fusesaver, which was invented in a garage in Slacks Creek before Siemens acquired it in 2012 and gave it a global platform for growth,” he said.

“The fact a product of Queensland innovation is now being exported to 30 different countries shines a spotlight on our state’s manufacturing capability and potential.

“This investment by Siemens represents a strong vote of confidence in Queensland’s manufacturing sector, which employs 170,000 people and contributes around $20 billion a year to the state’s economy.

“Our government has a 10-year plan to transition the state’s manufacturing sector to more advanced manufacturing high-paid, knowledge-based jobs by 2026, and innovative, visionary companies like Siemens are supporting us to achieve this goal.”

A portion of the investment will also support the research and development of new products such as the new Compact Recloser announced at the launch.

Siemens Australia chairman and CEO Jeff Connolly said he was proud of the company and its success taking the Fusesaver to 30 countries.

“Siemens is both global and local, which means that with Fusesaver we’ve been able to bring a brilliant Australian invention to the world – from start-up to scale-up,” he said.

“The success of Fusesaver reiterates that Australia can be a competitive manufacturer and scale globally.

“Energy security is a household topic at the moment and Brett Watson, one of the inventors of the product, and his team have created something that’s not only unique, but helps energy utilities deliver energy security especially in rural areas in Australia but also around the world.”

One of the recent highlights for Fusesaver was last year’s €1.5 million UK Power Networks order that was the largest outside of Australia for the product.

Headquartered in London, UK Power Networks delivers electricity to approximately 8.2 million homes and businesses in England.

Closer to home, Powercor, the company that own and manages poles and wires delivering electricity to nearly 780,000 homes and business in Victoria installed more than 600 Fusesaver units across their network to help reduce the risk of electricity assets starting a bushfire.

Dr Brett Watson, one of the co-founders of Fusesaver, said the product is the fastest outdoor vacuum circuit breaker on the market.

“Since we developed the technology, it has helped reduce electricity outages in rural networks worldwide and, in the process, saved many millions of dollars in costs for providers,” he said.