Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage
The Capricornia Energy Hub will comprise of three components – pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), a wind farm and a solar farm.
The Capricornia Energy Hub pumped hydroelectric energy storage is a proposed 750MW pump/generation facility with a storage capacity of 12GWh (16hr) and a water transfer volume of 18.1GL. The project is located approximately 80km west of Mackay on two large rural landholdings about 10km west of Eungella near the existing Eungella Dam.
The PHES and associated infrastructure will have a total capital cost of approximately AUD 2bn and will create approximately 600 jobs during construction and 65 regional jobs during operations.
The project will contribute toward local, state and federal government policies and goals relating to greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy generation, the transformation of the electricity network, affordable energy and local employment.
The project will comprise two reservoirs: the upper being a valley fill reservoir and the lower being an in-stream reservoir in the Broken River. There will also be a powerhouse, tunnels or pipes linking the reservoirs and the powerhouse, and a transmission line and substation. The transmission line route has not yet been finalised.
Progress and Timeline
RC, ECI, EPBC and Financial Close
Frequently Asked Questions
Who did your environmental studies and when did they start?
Initial environmental and field studies for the purposes of completing our Business Case and Conceptual Design and Prefeasibility Study have been completed and commenced approximately 3 years ago. More detailed environmental, field and technical studies are being conducted as part of the approvals process for the Capricornia Energy Hub.
GHD have been the main contractor for our studies to date.
We will continue to keep the community updated on the approvals process and opportunities for the community to provide feedback.
What are the approvals processed for each part of the Hub?
The Capricornia Energy Hub will be assessed under the Queensland Government assessment process and through referrals to the Federal Government under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
The local community, general public and stakeholders will have numerous occasions to provide formal and informal feedback. We will notify the local community as the project progresses on calls for formal submissions.
Are wind turbines built to withstand cyclones?
Wind Turbines are designed with a mechanism to ensure they switch off when wind speeds become too fast. In addition, the concrete base of the turbine is built in accordance with Australian Government standards on cyclone resilience. In Queensland, Wind turbines have maintained their structural integrity through Category 5 cyclones and with wind speeds of over 285 km/hour.
Do you have support from the Traditional Owners?
The entire project footprint is on Widi Country. An Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was signed with the Widi people last year and the ILUA has been formally registered.
We will continue to work with Widi as the project progresses.
We are also discussing an ILUA with the Birriah People. The project does not directly affect the Birriah claim, but because a property that includes the project is partly covered by the Birriah claim, an ILUA is needed.
What is the noise limit for wind turbines?
Wind Farms are assessed under State Code 23 (Queensland Government) which dictates a noise limit maximum of 37dB(A)* during the day and 35dB(A)* at night. As an example comparison, bird calls are around 44 decibels, noise in a library is 40 decibels and a quiet rural area is around 30 decibels.
Will you resume any land and how do you get land access?
A private company does not have the power to resume land. Only the Queensland Government can resume land for a public purpose.