Project Spotlight: 1,000-MW pumped storage hydroelectric as part of Urannah Water Scheme

The Urannah Water Scheme – proposed to be built in North Queensland, Australia — will include a dam to be built at Urannah, pipelines to Moranbah and Proserpine, an irrigation scheme for agricultural use and a 1,000-MW pumped hydroelectric project.

The scheme will be located in the Bowen Basin in North Queensland. The proposed project would dam the Broken River in the upper Broken River Valley.

Project developer Urannah Water Scheme Pty Ltd says this scheme will provide water security and lower the cost of electricity. During construction, almost 1,200 jobs will be created, and more than 650 new jobs will be created once the water scheme is fully operational.

A preliminary business case has been completed. In May 2019, the federal government announced $10 million to progress the project, with the grant to fund a detailed business case and environmental impact statement. According to the Queensland Government, Bowen Collinsville Enterprise, which received the National Water Infrastructure Development Funds, is proposing to have a detailed business case for Urannah Dam completed by late 2021.

Last week, Brisbane Times reported that about $2 million in funding from the federal government has been set aside for a pre-feasibility study on the hydroelectric plant, which it says will have a capacity of 1,500 MW.

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