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Borumba Dam could create 2000 construction jobs

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The Queensland Government will invest $22 million for the detailed design and cost analysis for hydro at Borumba Dam, a project that could support 2000 construction jobs.

Publicly-owned electricity transmission company Powerlink has been tasked with undertaking the business case, given its understanding of the electricity market and experience delivering very large infrastructure.

The business case is expected to take up to 24 months, with a submission expected to Government by mid-to-end-2023.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project had the potential to be the state’s largest pumped hydro station, powering an estimated 1.5 million homes.

“More pumped hydro means more long-term, reliable energy and jobs for Queenslanders,” Palaszczuk said.

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“We’re prioritising Borumba because of its existing dam infrastructure, land access and location within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.

“Supporting investment in renewables is part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the business case would include detailed engineering and design, hydrological modelling, geological testing, an assessment of environmental impacts and community consultation.

“We’re investing $22 million to potentially unlock a multi-billion-dollar construction project that would leverage billions more in clean energy investment and support thousands of jobs,” Dick said.

“This is an investment in jobs and renewable power that can be used at any time of the day to feed Queensland consumers and Queensland industry.”

Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said at one gigawatt, Borumba would have double the generation and triple the storage of Wivenhoe.

“The benefits of having pumped hydro as part of our diversified energy mix was proven last month when Callide Power Station went offline,” de Brenni said.

“We were able to ramp up the Wivenhoe Hydroelectric Station to provide critical generation support and stabilise the network.

“Pumped hydro storage is flexible, reliable, and complements renewable energy generation such as solar and wind.”

de Brenni said if Borumba moves ahead, the Commonwealth should contribute to the capital cost.

The business case is expected to take up to 24 months, with a submission expected to Government by mid-to-end-2023.

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