Hands holding soil
7 July, 2023 · 2 MIN READ

Important geotechnical investigation works to commence for Borumba Pumped Hydro Project

Field work for the Borumba Pumped Hydro project will commence on 10 July 2023. 

The first significant field work for the Borumba Pumped Hydro project since the Queensland Government announced its funding investment decision will commence on 10 July 2023. 

Queensland Hydro will carry out important geotechnical investigation work from July 2023 through until November 2023 around Borumba Dam. This will help the project team to understand the ground and groundwater conditions of the area. The Project is subject to environmental and other relevant approvals.   

The investigation will provide data and information for the Borumba Project's environmental assessment for the 2,000 MW project. Located at Lake Borumba, west of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Project is targeting first power by the end of the decade.  

The nation-building infrastructure will future-proof Queensland's energy system by providing the reliability and security the state needs to help it move forward in the journey to become a world-leading renewable energy superpower.  

Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack said his team had engaged with both the State and Federal governments in relation to environmental and planning permits for this geotechnical investigation work. All necessary authorisations have been obtained for geotechnical drilling at these locations.  

The work is separate to the project's current Federal Government referral for exploratory works, planned to start from late 2023. 

"This is the next important step in the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project which is one of Queensland Hydro's two pumped hydro projects. Pumped hydro storage schemes are like giant rechargeable batteries that can store renewable energy generated by wind and solar. They can then make that energy available for dispatch on demand," Mr Cusack said. 

"We’re confident, from all of the investigations so far, that the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project will be able to live up to its full potential and play a key role in helping the Queensland Government meet and beat its renewable energy targets.” 

About the works

This geotechnical work will typically involve a small crew using a couple of vehicles and equipment such as a drilling rig, 20-tonne excavator, handheld equipment, backhoe and trucks. Work may include:  

  • Drilling and backfilling small boreholes of about 150 mm in diameter (borehole depths will vary and are subject to ground conditions)  
  • Non-intrusive survey work  
  • The installation of water monitoring bores at some sites.   

The crew will spend about two weeks at each borehole site. Drilling time may vary at each borehole depending on ground conditions. Potential impacts to nearby residents may include minor truck movements along public roads and noise from drilling works. 

The geotechnical investigations will occur within the Project area around Borumba Dam. Access may be required to a small number of private properties. All property owners will be notified ahead of time if access is required.   

If you have questions about the geotechnical works, please contact our team via borumba@qldhydro.com.au

First published 7 July 2023.