The Barron Gorge Hydro Power Station, one of Queensland’s oldest renewable energy facilities, is about to undergo a $1 million five-yearly maintenance program.
Queensland Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said overhauling the Barron Gorge Hydro Power Station would ensure Far Northerners continued to receive clean and reliable energy.
“This is going to be a tough job for the Cairns-based contractors, inspecting, cleaning and repairing the pipe that feeds water from the Barron River into the power station,” said Mr Pitt.
“The pipe is known as the penstock and cleaning the inside of the two kilometers of pitch black, wet pipework is certainly not a task for anyone who suffers claustrophobia.
“I know the strictest safety standards will be followed and I commend the crew working on this important project.”
A $28 million refurbishment of the Barron Gorge Hydro was completed by the managers, Stanwell, in 2011 which extended the power station’s life by 40 years.
Barron River MP Craig Crawford said Stanwell’s permanent staff would complete maintenance works in the generator hall where the two turbines are located.
“Barron Gorge Hydro was around long before anyone had thought of solar panels or windfarms so it’s an historical source of green energy,” Mr Crawford said.
“At full capacity it can power around 60,000 households and, although this power enters a very large east coast power grid, much of this power will be used in Far North Queensland.
“Electricity is generated by using water from the Barron River to turn turbines, so it fits in well with the strong environmental values of the tropical north to have this great renewable energy source operating to its full potential.”