Capacity: 570 MW for 10 hours
Fuel:Pumped storage hydroelectric
Location: Wivenhoe Pocket, South East Queensland
Wivenhoe Power Station is Queensland’s only pumped storage hydroelectric plant. Its two 285 megawatt units are the largest hydro machines in Australia. Each generating unit when in operation weighs 1,450 tonnes, spinning at 150 revolutions per minute.
On 31 October 2019, Wivenhoe Power Station will be transferred to the trading portfolio of the Queensland's government's third publicly owned generator CleanCo
Commissioned in 1984, Wivenhoe Power Station has an expected life of up to 100 years and has 13 onsite employees.
How electricity is generated at Wivenhoe
Hydroelectricity uses the force of falling water to power spinning turbines. The volume of the falling water and the distance it falls influences how much electricity can be produced.
As a pumped storage hydroelectric plant Wivenhoe operates like a giant rechargeable battery. Water is cycled between upper reservoir Splityard Creek Dam and lower reservoir Wivenhoe Dam.
Here is a simple explanation of how electricity is generated at Wivenhoe.
- Water is pumped from Lake Wivenhoe uphill Splityard Creek Dam.
- The water is stored in Splityard Creek Dam until it is needed. When required, water is pumped from Splityard Creek Dam downhill through tunnels.
- The water flows through the turbine, which rotates.
- The rotation of the turbine spins a powerful electromagnet, which creates electricity.
- Electricity is then increased in volts through a transformer and transported from the power station via transmission lines.
- Water flows back to Lake Wivenhoe, ready to be used again.
Working at Wivenhoe
Hear from our people in the video below about what it's like to work at Wivenhoe Power Station.
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