A $14 million maintenance project will start this month at the Wivenhoe Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Station in Queensland to preserve the ongoing reliability of the plant.

The major overhaul was announced by the Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni, and is expected to create 100 jobs under the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

Maintenance works will run from mid-July through until late October 2021 at the CleanCo owned project. Works will include the repair and refurbishment of one of the project’s 285MW turbines, corrosion protection painting of machinery and pipes, and repairs to a transformer.

“Wivenhoe is the jewel in the crown of Queensland’s publicly-owned energy storage fleet and maintaining it will be critical to achieving our renewable energy target,” said Minister Mick de Brenni. “That’s why we’ll continue to invest in Wivenhoe and progress plans for pumped hydro at Borumba Dam, with the Budget providing $22 million for detailed design and cost analysis of that project.”

CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said since taking ownership in 2019, CleanCo has run Wivenhoe more often as part of its portfolio of low-emissions assets. “We must maintain our generating assets in line with this change in operations to ensure we can continue to meet our mandate to provide reliable, affordable energy for our customers and the Queensland community,” Dr Schweizer said.

Back in May 2021, the Callide C Power Station went offline, which resulted in Wivenhoe ramping up to the point it was generating 530MW over a four-hour period, helping to meet demand and stabilise the network.

“The recent incident at Callide Power Station highlighted the important role fast ramping and flexible generation assets like Wivenhoe Power Station play in supplying energy reliably for Queensland,” said Dr Schweizer.