Queensland’s original big battery turns 40!

Wivenhoe Power Station has the capacity to power the equivalent of 125,000 Queensland homes every year.  

As the station brings in its fourth decade, it remains a key player in the Queensland renewable energy landscape, with the capacity to produce a whopping 570MW. 

Owned and operated by publicly owned CleanCo, the Wivenhoe Power Station plays a critical role in supporting the renewable energy transformation, using excess solar and renewable energy produced during the day to pump water up to Splityard Creek, ready for generation in the evening peak when the sun isn’t shining or when the wind isn’t blowing. 

At the time of commissioning the power station, Queensland was positioned as a world leader in the use of technology to remotely control a pumped hydro station, with a start-up time of just 20 seconds.  

Forty years later, its legacy and reliability remain unchanged thanks to the skilled energy workers who have safely maintained and operated the asset, so generations of Queenslanders can continue to reap the clean energy benefits.  

Located in the Somerset region of south-east Queensland, the power station has played an important role in the community, providing local jobs and supporting a range of community groups and initiatives.  

CleanCo CEO Tom Metcalfe

CleanCo CEO Tom Metcalfe said CleanCo is honoured to be the custodian of Wivenhoe Power Station.

“We are proud of the role Wivenhoe Power Station plays in Queensland’s energy transformation.

“With Queensland’s largest rechargeable battery in our portfolio, CleanCo is uniquely positioned to provide clean, reliable energy 24/7 – this is good for our customers, and for Queensland’s energy network.

“Our team at Wivenhoe works incredibly hard to keep the power station operating safely and efficiently – I’d like to thank each and every team member, past and present, for their valuable contributions.”

Wivenhoe Power Station Site Manager Herman Porter said the Wivenhoe team is proud to operate this unique asset in support of Queensland.

Over 40 years, the power station has become part of the fabric of the Somerset region. It’s not only a place of employment – it’s also a place where technical capability is developed, and lifelong friendships are forged.

“Our employees are dedicated to ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the power station. Their incredible depth of knowledge and technical skill keeps Wivenhoe running smoothly.” 

Former Wivenhoe Power Station Technical Officer Trevor Lush spoke of the early days at Wivenhoe.

“As Wivenhoe was the first pumped storage hydro power station in Queensland and one of only a few in Australia, we were all learning as we went – there were not too many people we could turn to for technical support, especially during the midnight hours.

Wivenhoe was originally staffed by 5 people during daylight hours. The team gradually increased over the years to reach a level where staffing was more realistic and our capabilities increased.

I absolutely loved working at Wivenhoe Power Station. There was a real sense of camaraderie where everyone was always willing to assist each other.”