09 Aug 2022

Bechtel Wins Work on Australian Pumped Hydro Facility

09 Aug 2022  by   
BE Power and GE Renewable Energy have selected Bechtel to support the planning for a new pumped storage hydro energy facility named Big-T at Lake Cressbrook in southeast Queensland, Australia. The project will support the transition of Australia’s baseload of electricity away from its aging coal generation power plants, and it will contribute to the Queensland government’s target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2030.

Big-T will act as an extension to the national electrical grid by both producing and storing electricity. It will consist of a pumped hydro energy storage facility (400 MW, 10 hours) and a battery energy storage facility (200 MW, 1 hour), enough to power 288 000 homes with renewable energy. Once operational, the plant is expected to deliver significant savings in electricity costs and improve the reliability of supply to consumers.

“We are pleased to secure the services of the global construction infrastructure leader, Bechtel,” said Scott Walkem, BE Power Managing Director. “Bechtel has significant expertise in the delivery of power infrastructure, including hydropower. Further, Bechtel and GE have a long history of working collaboratively to deliver energy projects.”

Bechtel will provide support to the project development under a service agreement that will include advancing the design, facilitating early contractor cost savings and buildability, advising how to best structure core contracts, and kick-starting supply chain engagement with a view to maximising local content and indigenous participation. Bechtel’s work will help inform Big-T’s feasibility study, with the Final Investment Decision (FID) scheduled for late 2023. If achieved, Bechtel would then go on to engineer, procure, and construct the project.

“A sustainable energy future is today’s global goal, and energy storage facilities have a significant role in us achieving it,” said Scott Osborne, Bechtel’s General Manager for Infrastructure in Asia Pacific. “Big-T will help create renewable energy opportunities for Queenslanders in terms of a more cost effective and reliable energy system, and local job and business opportunities not just in long duration storage but in the broader system it supports.”

Bechtel has partnered with customers to build 50 hydroelectric plants around the world. Most recently, the company built the Keeyask Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada, which began generating clean renewable energy to power 400 000 homes earlier this year.

The company has had established programmes for over 60-years to provide opportunities for local community and First Nations participation on Australian projects. Early this year, the company formalised its commitments in a reconciliation action plan to continue to support a diverse and inclusive workforce and supply chain.


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