A South-East Queensland power station that works like a giant rechargeable battery is undergoing a $11.8 million tune-up to keep it operating in peak condition into the future and ensure it meets its 100-year design life.
CS Energy is overhauling one of the generating units at the 570-megawatt hydroelectric Wivenhoe Power Station near Brisbane, which is the only pumped storage hydroelectric plant in Queensland.
Wivenhoe Power Station Site Manager Darren Kendrick said Wivenhoe Power Station is a peaking power station that provides power during high electricity demand periods.
“Wivenhoe Power Station generates electricity by cycling water between an upper and lower reservoir,” Mr Kendrick said.
“Wivenhoe stores energy by holding water in its upper reservoir until it is needed to generate electricity.
“During high demand periods, the stored water is released through tunnels to drive the turbines and generators to generate electricity.
“Wivenhoe can generate for up 10 hours at full load before it needs to pump more water.”
Mr Kendrick said the Wivenhoe Unit 2 overhaul has a peak workforce of 120 people on site, which comprises the power station’s permanent workforce of 11 and more than 100 contractors.
“Overhauls provide short term employment opportunities for people with the skills and expertise required to undertake the maintenance and upgrades to power station equipment,” Mr Kendrick said.
“There are flow on economic benefits to accommodation and service businesses in the communities surrounding the power station, such as Fernvale, Lowood and Esk.”
The Wivenhoe Unit 2 overhaul is running for 92 days and is due for completion on 3 July 2018.