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Queensland seeks to develop hydro-electric facility on Burdekin Falls dam

EBR Staff Writer Published 02 May 2017

The Queensland Government in Australia is investigating the possibility of building a hydro-electric power station on the Burdekin Falls dam.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government would invest to develop a business case for developing power from Burdekin Falls Dam.

The government is planning to increase the capacity of Burdekin Falls dam from 150,000 megalitres (MLS) to more than two million MLs.

The plan was already being evaluated by the Palaszczuk Government, working with the Federal Government under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

The plans are underway to build a hydro-electric power station that can produce 150GW hours of power, enabling to meet the electricity needs of 30,000 homes per annum. Currently, the dam is at 101% of its 1,860,000ML storage capacity.

Palaszczuk said: "The hydro-electric potential in the Burdekin has been talked about since the 1940s.  It was last proposed in 2014, but the proponent shelved the project amid disarray in Abbott-Turnbull Government energy policy, at a time when the Nicholls-Newman Government remained firmly anti-renewables.

"Today I'm calling on the Prime Minister to work with my Government as we develop a Burdekin Hydro business case to complement the strategic assessment underway on the raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam by two metres to store more water and generate electricity.

“This will complement the existing Koombooloomba, Kareeya and Barron Gorge hydro power stations currently operating in North Queensland and the 800MW pipeline of renewable energy projects committed in North Queensland over the last 12 months, a $1.5bn investment supporting more than 1400 jobs.”

The Palaszczuk Government, Federal Government and Townsville City Council signed the Townsville City Deal in December 2016 for Townsville's water security.

As part of the City Deal, the Townsville Water Security Taskforce has been established and is currently investigating short, medium and long-term solutions to water security.