QLD Announces Plans to Build Two Massive Pumped Hydro Facilities


Queenslanders may look forward to better access to renewable energy soon. Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland Premier, recently launched the energy and jobs plan with a $62 billion budget. The plan includes the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the world and the conversion of several coal-fired power stations into clean energy hubs that will start in 2027. 


Plans for the construction of two pumped hydro facilities are, indeed, ambitious but possible. “These are projects of national significance on a scale not seen since the construction of Snowy Hydro—bigger than Snowy Hydro,” the Queensland Premier said. 

One of the hydro facilities will be located on Queensland’s midcoast that will deliver 5 GW of storage, while the other one, the Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project, which will be called “the battery of the north,” is the bigger facility with 5 GW of 24-hour storage west of Mackay

Making renewable energy even more reliable amid climate change

The intensity of climate change continues to grow, hence the need for solid and reliable energy storage. Climate change continues to wreak havoc on different parts of the world, bringing in intense weather conditions. These erratic and strong weather conditions may hamper the reliability of renewables, thus calling for stronger demand for more reliable energy storage. 

According to Mick de Brenni, Queensland’s Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, “We will maintain majority public ownership of generation and 100% public ownership of transmission and distribution.” 

The $62-billion plan also includes a change in the state’s renewable energy supply goal that will be legislated, which will now be at 70 per cent by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035. 

Related: REP Explores Adding Solar PV and Big Battery to 600MW Wind Farm in Western Downs, Queensland

A smart conversion of coal power stations

Included in the plan is the conversion of several publicly-owned coal power stations in the state. The QLD government aims to convert them into energy hubs starting in 2027. 

What makes this a smart and practical move is that it is known that these coal-powered stations have strong grid connections. Therefore, it only makes sense that they are converted instead to support renewable energy. At the same time, the plans for conversion will save more money on infrastructure. 

The local community are reassured that there will be job replacements despite the conversion of the coal power stations in the state. 

Driving down power bills

Queenslanders may look forward to lower power bills soon enough with these plans by the state government. Power bills will remain high for a few years as the country moves to renewable energy.The plans that have been put in place show significant investment being put into renewable energy that will ease the transition. As a result, it will lead to reduced power costs for households in Queensland in the future. 

According to Deputy Premier Steven Miles, “the more renewable energy we can use, the more we can put downward pressure on prices.”

Taking the big step following the “lag”

Queensland is one of the states in Australia that is lagging behind in the race to renewable energy. Despite the several plans in place, and the 66 per cent increase in solar power recorded over the past two years, half came from rooftop solar – which has nothing to do with the Palaszczuk Government. On top of that, the state is home to Stanwekk Corporation and CS Energy, which are both known as greenhouse gas polluters. 

With these plans and imminent legislation, it seems like the state will be able to keep up with the other states and significantly boost their renewable energy levels in the coming years. 

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