Solid rock home for Queensland water battery

The project will supply Queensland with renewable energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
The project will supply Queensland with renewable energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

The Queensland Government reports promising investigative geotechnical drilling at the proposed Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project which is expected to deliver the largest water battery of its kind in the world.

Investigations drilled to 850m, yielding 3,800m of geotechnical cores, mostly extracted by local Mackay, Queensland drillers, Twin Hills Engineering.

WSP and SMEC have identified very strong, coarse competent granite rock ideal for dam construction, tunnels and potentially multiple underground multi-turbine powerhouses.

Queensland Government geologist Tony Knight says the samples are ideal for this project.

“The samples I inspected from the site at a meeting with Minister de Brenni and Queensland Hydro looked to be very strong, competent and solid rock,” he said.

“This is exactly the type of rock needed for these projects for strong foundations and stability.”

Queensland Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Minister Mick de Brenni says the results further ensure the project will be delivered on time.

“The quality of these core samples upholds the many years of preliminary assessments the Government has done across multiple locations,” he said.

“Queensland Hydro advises me that due to the quality of these core samples, it opens up a broader range of options for the project’s design and may also lead to an improved project schedule.”

These results will help refine the project design to lower costs and improve delivery timeframes, with more data leading to more detailed design specification and lower risk.