World’s biggest pumped hydro for Queensland

Premier and Minister for the Olympics The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a bold clean energy future for Queensland including the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the world.

A new dam in the Pioneer Valley near Mackay will supply half of Queensland’s entire energy needs with clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy.

It is just one part of a $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan that includes:

  • 70% of Queensland’s energy supply from renewables by 2032
  • 80% by 2035
  • Two new pumped hydros at Pioneer/Burdekin and Borumba Dam by 2035
  • A new Queensland SuperGrid connecting solar, wind, battery and hydrogen generators across the State
  • Unlocking 22GW of new renewable capacity – giving us 8 times our current level
  • Publicly owned coal fired-power stations to convert to clean energy hubs to transition to, for example, hydrogen power, with jobs guarantees for workers
  • Queensland’s publicly-owned coal-fired power stations to stop reliance on burning coal by 2035
  • 100,000 new jobs by 2040, most in regional Queensland
  • 11.5GW of rooftop solar and 6GW of embedded batteries
  • 95% of investment in regional Queensland
  • Building Queensland’s first hydrogen ready gas turbine
  • Projects subject to environmental approvals

The Premier said the visionary plan set Queensland up for the next century.

“This plan is all about cheaper, cleaner and secure energy for Queenslanders,” the Premier said.

“It is about turbo-charging new investment in new minerals, batteries and manufacturing.

“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of new energy.

“This plan makes Queensland the renewable energy capital of the world.

“It also takes real and decisive action on climate change providing the biggest commitment to renewable energy in Australia’s history.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the two new pumped hydro facilities would be bigger than the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme.

“We will use cheap solar electricity during the day to pump water up the mountain to store it. Then at night we can release the water to generate electricity. It’s like a giant battery.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick said Queensland’s energy transformation will provide the greatest jobs opportunity in a generation.

“This empowers our regions in every sense of the word,” the Treasurer said.

“It will bring manufacturing back to the regions in all-new industries.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the Energy and Jobs Plan ensured Queensland’s power generators remain in public ownership.

“This has proved vital to investment in cleaner, cheaper energy,” the Minister said.

“We will maintain majority public ownership of generation and 100% public ownership of transmission and distribution.”

Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon said the Energy and Jobs plan is also a plan for the environment.

“This is the best news the Great Barrier Reef has had in years,” the Minister said.

“It means emissions from energy will be cut by 90 per cent by 2035.

“This is what leadership looks like.

“This is real climate action.”

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