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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Bechtel wins work on Australian pumped hydro facility to power more than a quarter of a million homes

  • 04 August 2022
  • Asia Pacific, Engineering, Procurement & Construction, Hydroelectric Power, Infrastructure , Path to Net Zero, Press Release

Big-T will produce and store renewable energy and support the transition from coal

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 (400MW, 10 hours) and a battery energy storage facility (200MW, 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 maximizing local content and indigenous participation. Bechtel’s work will help inform Big-T’s feasibility study, with the final investment decision 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.”