Tenders are now being called for initial engineering and consulting services to deliver design and costings for the Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project.
Borumba Dam is located approximately 70 kilometres south-west of Noosa in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Due to its proximity to the high voltage electricity transmission network, the Queensland Government previously identified the site as a possible location for the development of a PHES facility. Powerlink has held the site since the 1980s.
The Borumba Dam PHES would be Queensland’s largest pumped hydro project, with the potential to generate up to 1 gigawatt at maximum output – equivalent to over 15 per cent of Queensland’s average electricity demand. The project would support 2,000 jobs during construction.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said an essential part of the project is environmental feasibility studies as well as community consultation support. The Queensland Government has committed $22 million for a detailed design and cost analysis of the project to support future decisions.
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.
“Borumba hydro is an important project for Queensland as we move towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” Minister 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,” he commented.
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Glen Hartwig said it is vital the community has their say.
“I’d encourage everybody to be part of this consultation process,” Cr Hartwig said.
“This project has the potential to create good jobs in the Gympie region and we support the consultation process.”
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.
Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said the tender process will 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,” Mr Simshauser said.
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 Government by mid-to-end-2023.
Visit www.epw.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/borumba-dam-pumped-hydro for more information.