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The Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project has reached a new step in consultation, with tenders called for initial engineering and consulting services to deliver design and costings for the project. 

At 1GW and 24 hours storage, the Borumba PHES project will be Queensland’s largest pumped hydro project, with the potential to power up to 1.5 million homes and support 2000 construction jobs.

Powerlink Queensland will coordinate the work based on its role in the state’s power system and experience in delivering large infrastructure on the electricity transmission network.

A request for information (RFI) will be released for environmental studies and community consultation support at the same time as an invitation to tender (ITT) to be released to secure the role of Owners Engineer and technical advisory services.

Gympie Regional Council Mayor, Glen Hartwig, said it was vital the community had their say.

“I’d encourage everybody to be part of this consultation process,” Mr Hartwig said.

“This project has the potential to create good jobs in the Gympie region and we support the consultation process.”

The Queensland Government has committed $22 million for a detailed design and cost analysis of the project to support future decisions. 

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said an essential part of the project was environmental feasibility studies, as well as community consultation support.

“Borumba hydro is an important project for Queensland as we move towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Pumped hydro will play a key role in complementing solar and wind generation.

“We hope that Queensland-based businesses get involved in the tender process to deliver the relevant work packages.”

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said the tender process would ensure the right expertise is secured on the project.

“Together with the Queensland Government, we will soon commence engagement with a range of stakeholders, including the local community, environmental groups, Traditional Owners and Seqwater,” Mr Simshauser said.

“Borumba Dam has the potential to be one of the state’s largest infrastructure projects, so we need to get the right technical advice now in delivering the design and cost analysis. 

“The project is an opportunity to further strengthen the supply of electricity across Queensland, while also driving regional economies recovering from COVID impacts.”

The studies are expected to take up to 24 months, with a submission expected to the Government by mid-to-end-2023.

Go to https://www.epw.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/borumba-dam-pumped-hydro for more information.

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