‘Super-hybrid’ wind, hydro, hydrogen project unveiled

Men gather around project poster board describing super-hybrid renewables project (sunshine hydro)
Image: Sunshine Hydro

Sunshine Hydro has revealed its plans for a $2 billion pumped hydro and green hydrogen “super-hybrid” project to be located in Central Queensland’s Gladstone region.

Sunshine Hydro chairman Michael Myer told ABC News the project would be built on around 750 acres of land near Miriam Vale, south of Gladstone.

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“The site that we’ve chosen has its own natural [water] catchment. We’ve modelled the 50-year rainfall and we know that, on average, we’ll be able to fill the reservoirs from the natural catchments,” Myer said.

“No year is average … as we have dry years. So we’re looking to be able to top up using desalinated water. So we will have a combination of natural catchment and desalinated water able to provide the water for pumped hydro and for electrolysis, which is so important.”

The super-hybrid project, known as Flavian, will also utilise energy from solar and wind proposals in development as part of the Central Queensland Power project from Sunshine Hydro’s partner Energy Estate.

Myer said the project was made possible because of specialised software that allowed the different energy sources to be optimised to work together.

“They’re not just singular assets, they’re integrated. And this software, the analogy I use, is it’s a bit like a conductor with an orchestra,” he said.

“If they all play separately, it doesn’t sound so good. If you have a conductor that gets them all to play together, according to a score, you end up with a beautiful piece of music.

“And that’s exactly what happens with this software.”

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The project will create 500 jobs during the construction stage as well as 60-80 ongoing full-time jobs managing the project.

Myer said Sunshine Hydro and its partners were funding the feasibility study, but had already received interest from “major institutions” in funding construction.

Pending approvals, construction is expected to begin in 2026, with generation is expected commence in 2028.

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