Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Energy Storage
Detailed design and cost analysis
The Queensland Government has announced the commencement of a detailed design and cost analysis for a potential 5-gigawatt pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) facility in the western Pioneer Valley, approximately 75 kilometres west of Mackay.
Similar to the Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro project, we will conduct detailed analytical studies to decide whether to proceed further with a pumped hydro development at this location.
This analysis will include:
- detailed hydrological modelling
- assessment of environmental and social impacts
- engineering design
- geological investigations
- financial modelling.
Developing a portfolio of potential pumped storage options will benefit Queensland by unlocking additional renewable generation development across the state to support low-cost and reliable renewable electricity.
The western Pioneer Valley was selected after a statewide assessment of potential pumped hydro locations through the Queensland Hydro Study.
The western Pioneer Valley has significant potential for a 5-gigawatt, large-scale, long-duration pumped hydro facility. The mountainous topography can provide a large vertical separation between the reservoirs, which is needed for pumped hydro.
The area is also located close to high-quality wind and solar generation sources in the Northern and Central Queensland Renewable Energy Zones, allowing it to unlock large volumes of renewable energy investment.
Community engagement and input is a key priority for the Queensland Government. We will work with the community throughout the studies to understand the potential impacts of a pumped hydro facility in the Pioneer Valley.
Every pumped hydro site has unique characteristics, and the community can provide valuable insights to give us a detailed understanding of the project area.
We will work with residents, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, conservation groups and the broader community understand stakeholder issues and interests. These will feed these into relevant studies, including the detailed design and cost analysis.
We will consider potential project impacts related to community amenity, biodiversity, water quality and availability when we decide whether the Pioneer-Burdekin project should move ahead.
For enquiries about pumped hydro, contact Queensland Hydro:
- 1800 875 099
- Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro (PDF, 2022.06 KB)
- Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro fact sheet
(PDF, 872.86 KB)
- Queensland Hydro Study: establishing our potential (PDF, 1884.4 KB)
- Pumped hydro in our energy system (PDF, 2702.62 KB)
- Last updated:
- 12 December 2023