WATER EVERYWHERE: An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March, 2017.
WATER EVERYWHERE: An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March, 2017. Aerial Media Gladstone

PUMPED UP: Water board explores energy opportunities

GLADSTONE Area Water Board is exploring opportunities to develop a pumped hydro energy storage project in the region.

The state-owned company has undertaken a review and found one site in Lake Awoonga, in an area near Castle Tower, that could be suitable for the battery storage technology.

A company spokesperson said it is one of many water entities to examine if it is viable to use their facilities to help power the state.

"As pumped hydro acts as a form of battery storage shifting water between higher and lower level storages through a generator, many water entities are examining whether there are sites that may be suitable to pump hydro within their catchment systems," the spokesperson said.

In its annual report for 2017-18, GAWB said the initial study found the site was "constructable and potentially economically viable".

Another report into the project's economic viability and potential companies that could build and operate it is due in early 2018-19.

Still in its early stages, the spokesperson said if it was deemed not viable they would not proceed with it.

"The pumped hydro is in feasibility stage and is being examined for commercial viability," the spokesperson said.

"If it is commercially viable then after a commercial arrangement is agreed that the proponent would need to go through all the usual planning and approval processes.

"Any installation would be many years away and subject to lots of planning and other considerations for the proponent."



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