Wivenhoe Pumped Hydro Shows Way To Net Zero


Wivenhoe Pumped Hydro Power Station is celebrating 40 years of clean energy generation for Queensland

  • Demonstrates Queensland's clean energy future is through pumped hydro
  • Commissioned in 1984, Wivenhoe is currently Queensland's only pumped hydro facility
  • Can generate 10 hours of continuous clean energy, Wivenhoe Pumped Hydro Power Station is the jewel in the crown of Queensland's publicly owned clean energy fleet
  • Queensland's original and only pumped hydro power station turns 40, showing the way for how the State will transform its energy grid to reach Net Zero by 2050.

    Wivenhoe Power Station turns 40 this year, demonstrating the resilience, longevity and safety of pumped hydro energy technology.

    This power station remains a key player in the Queensland renewable energy landscape, with the capacity to produce a whopping 570MW.

    Owned and operated by publicly owned CleanCo, the Wivenhoe Power Station plays a critical role in supporting the renewable energy transformation.

    The station uses excess solar and renewable energy produced during the day to pump water up to Splityard Creek, ready for generation in the evening peak when the sun isn't shining or when the wind isn't blowing.

    The Miles Labor Government's commitment to the development of pumped-hydro projects at Borumba and Pioneer-Burdekin will see Queensland reach its Net Zero target by 2050.

    David Crisafulli and the LNP have promised to scrap Pioneer-Burdekin, and are feathering the nest to cut Borumba too.

    Their plan for smaller stations would require at least 70 smaller pumped hydro stations scattered across Queensland, costing more to build, disturbing more natural wildlife, uprooting more homes, while also creating a less reliable energy system.

    The LNP's plan is smokescreen for Peter Dutton's plan to build expensive, dangerous and untested nuclear power plants along the east cost of Queensland, leaving nuclear waste scattered all over the state for generations to come.

    As stated by Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick:

    "The Wivenhoe Power Station shows why the Borumba and Pioneer—Burdekin Pumped Hydro Energy Storage projects are so vital to Queensland's low emissions future.

    "Since the time of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Queensland has had expertise in this form of energy storage that relies on something as fundamental as gravity.

    "David Crisafulli's decision to scrap Pioneer-Burdekin means he will have to extend the life of ageing coal-fired power stations before building nuclear plants, both at enormous expense."

    As stated by the Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni:

    "For 40 years now, the Queenslanders who crew publicly owned Wivenhoe Pumped Hydro Power Station have worked hard to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy, and today we recognize how instrumental they are in the transition.

    "Wivenhoe Pumped Hydro Power Station is testament to the reliability and longevity of pumped hydro as the only viable technology to store large-scale clean, cheap and reliable power.

    "We know Queensland's future industry and economy, plus existing jobs are dependent on Queensland decarbonising its energy system – only possible with the Borumba and Pioneer-Burdekin projects.

    "These projects lock in the pathway for an additional 145,000 clean economy jobs by 2050 and the $430 billion uplift in investment and trade opportunities – mostly in regional Queensland.

    "All of this is at risk under an LNP Government, who have dumped renewable energy targets and will not be able to meet emissions reduction targets either, which will kill jobs, investment and trade opportunities.

    "The LNP would put the transition on hold while Peter Dutton builds his nuclear reactors and leaves a trail of radioactive waste up and down Queensland's pristine coastline for generations to come."

    As stated by CleanCo Queensland CEO Tom Metcalfe:

    "CleanCo is honoured to be the custodian of Wivenhoe Power Station and we are proud of the role Wivenhoe Power Station plays in Queensland's energy transformation."

    "With Queensland's largest rechargeable battery in our portfolio, CleanCo is uniquely positioned to provide clean, reliable energy 24/7 – this is good for our customers, and for Queensland's energy network."

    "Our team at Wivenhoe works incredibly hard to keep the power station operating safely and efficiently – I'd like to thank each and every team member, past and present, for their valuable contributions.

    As stated by Wivenhoe Power Station Site Manager Herman Porter:

    "The Wivenhoe team is proud to operate this unique asset in support of Queensland."

    "Over 40 years, the power station has become part of the fabric of the Somerset region. It's not only a place of employment - it's also a place where technical capability is developed, and lifelong friendships are forged."

    "Our employees are dedicated to ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the power station. Their incredible depth of knowledge and technical skill keeps Wivenhoe running smoothly."

    As stated by former Wivenhoe Power Station Technical Officer Trevor Lush:

    "As Wivenhoe was the first pumped storage hydro power station in Queensland and one of only a few in Australia, we were all learning as we went - there were not too many people we could turn to for technical support, especially during the midnight hours."

    "Wivenhoe was originally staffed by 5 people during daylight hours. The team gradually increased over the years to reach a level where staffing was more realistic and our capabilities increased."

    "I absolutely loved working at Wivenhoe Power Station. There was a real sense of camaraderie where everyone was always willing to assist each other."

    As stated by former Prime Minister and the President of the International Hydropower Association, Malcolm Turnbull:

    "Our clean energy future demands engineering and economics not ideology and idiocy.

    "The cheapest form of new generation is solar PV and wind. But they need firming with long duration storage and that's where hydro, especially pumped hydro, is absolutely critical.

    "Queensland is showing great leadership with its development of pumped hydro, following in the footsteps of Wivenhoe hydro which celebrates its 40th birthday today.

    "We have all the tools and technologies to complete the clean energy transition - solar, wind and storage - batteries for short term, pumped hydro for long term.

    "But we have to build it. Our scarcest resource is time."

    /Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.