Step forward for Burdekin Hydro plans

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A prefeasilibity study has been completed on the hydro-electric power station on Burdekin Falls Dam, Queensland’s largest dam.

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Mark Bailey, said a prefeasibility study has now been completed by Stanwell.

“The study confirmed there are no fatal flaws in the concept and that the proposed project would be commercial and deliver a positive contribution to the state,” Mr Bailey said.

“It also confirmed that a Burdekin Falls Hydro Power Station could be built on the existing dam without impacting the water releases from the dam and with minimal environmental impact.

“Stanwell, which owns and operates several hydro-electric power stations across Queensland, will now prepare a detailed business case for the construction and operation of the hydro-electric power station to be completed by July 2018.

“Subject to outcomes of the business case, construction would commence in 2020.”

Mr Bailey said $386 million had been set aside to strengthen and diversify power and water assets in North Queensland under the Powering North Queensland Plan.

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, said the announcement would be warmly welcomed by many in North Queensland, and followed on from the release of the Powering North Queensland Plan in June.

“Actions under the plan include $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station subject to feasibility investigations,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“We know people in the North are really concerned about power prices. An important part in stabilising prices is making sure we invest in local, North Queensland infrastructure.

“Hydro-electric generation has an important part to play in Queensland’s future energy mix and the project has the potential to contribute to the security of Queensland’s electricity supply, while also helping to transition to a lower carbon energy market.”

Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said the Palaszczuk Government’s contribution to funding a hydro-electric power station on Burdekin Falls Dam is evidence of the ongoing investment in the energy future of North Queensland.

“We’re 100 per cent committed to investing in regional communities, renewable energy and jobs,” Mr Stewart said.

Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said through the  Powering North Queensland Plan, the State Government will not only deliver investment and jobs to North Queensland, but will also help to secure energy supply and drive down energy costs for consumers.

“Hydro-electric power stations not only produce much needed clean, green energy, but they also have twice the lifespan of coal fired power stations,” Mr Harper said.

Actions include:

  • $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends for the development of strategic transmission infrastructure to support a clean energy hub, with up to 1000 jobs for Powerlink construction of infrastructure, in addition to the approximately 3600 jobs that will be created in the development of the three proposed renewable energy projects along the transmission line
  • $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam. Subject to feasibility investigations and other dam construction works, project construction will be targeted to commence from 2020, and support up to 200 jobs
  • $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends towards improvement works to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, which is estimated to support around 250 jobs, and will support the proposed hydro-electric power station
  • Commissioning a hydro-electric study to assess options for deploying new hydro in the state, including North Queensland

“Pending a feasibility study, we will be investing $150 million to establish a Clean Energy Hub to develop strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North-west Queensland to potentially connect multi-faceted renewable projects,” Mr Bailey said.

“We are pumping $100 million into the improvement of works at the Burdekin Falls Dam and another $100 million to help fund a hydro facility at the dam subject to a business case.

“This investment of dividends is part of Queensland’s Powering Queensland Plan to drive down energy costs and secure electricity and water supply.”

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