Step forward for Burdekin hydro power station

A hydro-electric power station on the Queensland’s largest dam has moved a step closer with the completion of a feasibility study.

The power station would be located at the Burdekin Falls Dam.

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the study had been completed by Stanwell this week.

“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.”

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 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.

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.

“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,” he 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.”