A $14 million maintenance overhaul at Wivenhoe Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Station, Queensland’s largest hydro power station, is being undertaken by CleanCo, with works set to begin in July 2021.
The upgrades, which will create around 100 jobs, will ensure the power station continues to pump cleaner and cheaper energy for years to come.
Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the upgrades were critical for preserving the ongoing reliability of the plant.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s record energy budget includes $2.38 billion in job-creating capital upgrades and maintenance of our publicly-owned assets,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This $14 million overhaul will include the repair and refurbishment of one of the 285MW turbines, corrosion protection painting of machinery and pipes, and repairs to a transformer.
“Wivenhoe is the jewel in the crown of Queensland’s publicly-owned energy storage fleet and maintaining it will be critical to achieving our renewable energy target.
“That’s why we’ll continue to invest in Wivenhoe and progress plans for pumped hydro at Borumba Dam, with the Budget providing $22 million for detailed design and cost analysis of that project.”
Mr de Brenni said Wivenhoe was incredibly valuable to the reliability of Queensland’s electricity network.
“All our publicly-owned energy generators have worked around the clock to respond to constraints in the network in these last few weeks,” Mr de Brenni said.
“When Callide C Power Station went offline in May, we were able to ramp Wivenhoe up to the point it was generating 530MW over a four-hour period, helping to meet demand and stabilise the network.
“Never has it been more important to invest in fast ramping, flexible energy generation and storage solutions.”
CleanCo CEO, Dr Maia Schweizer, said since taking ownership in 2019, CleanCo has run Wivenhoe more often as part of its portfolio of low-emissions assets.
“We must maintain our generating assets in line with this change in operations to ensure we can continue to meet our mandate to provide reliable, affordable energy for our customers and the Queensland community,” Dr Schweizer said.
“The recent incident at Callide Power Station highlighted the important role fast ramping and flexible generation assets like Wivenhoe Power Station play in supplying energy reliably for Queensland.
“The planned overhaul will support up to 100 jobs as a diversely skilled workforce is required to undertake these works which will involve working at heights and in confined spaces.
“Where possible, CleanCo is engaging local businesses to support the delivery of this important work.”
Maintenance works will run from mid-July 2021 until late October 2021.