Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro
The Queensland Government has committed $6 billion in the 2023-24 budget to build the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project, subject to environmental approvals.
Ultimately the project is estimated to cost $14.2 billion and is the biggest single investment in Queensland’s energy infrastructure in decades.
The project is a 2,000 megawatt (MW) pumped hydro energy storage facility at Lake Borumba, located near Imbil, 45 minutes south-west of Gympie.
The Borumba Pumped Hydro Project is a cornerstone of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and will provide the long duration energy storage needed for a reliable, renewable energy system. The project will deliver cleaner, reliable and affordable energy for all Queenslanders.
The project will accelerate the decarbonisation of Queensland’s energy system, providing the long duration energy storage needed to achieve our renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035. At peak construction, the project will also deliver an estimated 2,300 jobs and economic opportunities for Queensland businesses.
This funding will support the delivery phases to design and construct the pumped hydro. As a first step in this process, an environmental impact assessment process and exploratory works will begin in the second half of 2023.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process will investigate the project’s environmental, social and economic impacts and identify avoidance, mitigation and offset measures. Importantly, during the EIS process, the community will have an opportunity to have their say on the project.
In parallel with the EIS process, detailed site investigations and exploratory works are needed before construction can begin. Queensland Hydro will progress further geotechnical testing to enhance understanding of site conditions and undertake civil infrastructure upgrades around the project site, including worker accommodation.
As with any other large-scale infrastructure project, construction is subject to planning and an environmental approval processes, including relevant approvals from state and federal governments.
Lake Borumba was selected as the first site for a detailed design and cost analysis after a statewide assessment of potential pumped hydro locations through the Queensland Hydro study.
We identified Lake Borumba due to its proximity to the high-voltage transmission network, existing dam infrastructure and location to the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.
We also previously identified the site as a possible location for a pumped hydro facility, and the state government has owned the site since the 1980s.
Comprehensive engineering, geotechnical, environmental, hydrological, social and commercial studies undertaken in 2022 confirmed the project’s feasibility for further development.
Independent technical review of the project design by international and national experts and energy system modelling has confirmed the project will deliver the largest possible generation and storage capacity for the least cost, when compared to other storage technologies.
We are committed to engaging with the community and key stakeholders early and often to ensure we deliver the best outcomes not only for Queensland, but also the local community.
Queensland Hydro is leading extensive community engagement, which began in December 2021 and is ongoing. Stakeholders have provided many useful insights so far, and will continue to have an opportunity to provide input on the project’s environmental, social and economic impacts during the environmental impact assessment process.
To learn more about community engagement activities and how you can get involved, visit the Queensland Hydro website.
For more information about Powerlink’s transmission corridor planning and engagement, visit the Powerlink website.
For enquiries about the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project, contact Queensland Hydro.
- Last updated:
- 12 June 2023