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Consultant services sought for Pioneer-Burdekin in Queensland

Queensland Hydro invites expressions of interest from qualified consultants to assist with assessing the feasibility of the proposed 5 GW Pioneer-Burdekin pumped-storage hydropower project in the northeastern Australian state.

Consultants are sought to carry out investigation and assessment of the expected environmental impacts of the project and separately of the geotechnical properties of the project site in the Pioneer Valley and adjacent ranges in the Burdekin catchment, about 75 km west of the city of Mackay. The project site has been identified as a preferred second site for a long-duration, pumped-storage facility, in addition to the Borumba project announced in June 2021.

The publicly owned entity established by the Queensland Government to design, deliver, operate and maintain long duration pumped-storage assets aims to begin detailed analytical studies over the next 18 months to refine knowledge of the pumped hydro potential between the proposed upper reservoirs in the Burdekin catchment, and the lower reservoir proposed in the Pioneer Valley, near Netherdale. Landowner and Community and stakeholder engagement began this autumn. The site’s proximity to wind and solar generation sources in the Central and Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zones could unlock large volumes of renewable energy, according to Queensland Hydro. The development of Pioneer-Burdekin and a potential 2 GW pumped-storage facility at Borumba dam, which is at an advance stage of study, would help play a critical role in helping to meet the Queensland Government’s renewable energy targets and net zero emissions by 2050, the state-owned developer added, supporting the shift in its economy to a decarbonised energy system.

Expressions of interest can be submitted though an online form on the developer’s project website