Seqwater supports the use of green power through the use of hydro-electric schemes and other renewable energy opportunities.
Hydro-electricity is generated by the power of falling water. As water falls, it gains kinetic energy (energy of movement) which is converted to electrical energy in a hydro-electric plant. The force of the falling water rotates a turbine that is connected to a generator creating green electricity.
Seqwater has four hydro-electric power stations on its storages.
There is a small hydro-electric power station at Somerset Dam. It was commissioned in 1953 and completed in 1959. It is a small plant of 4000 KVA capacity and is currently being refurbished by Seqwater. Water is released though the Somerset power station to supplement Wivenhoe Dam which in turn supplements the natural flow of the Brisbane river and also supplies water to the Mt Crosby pumping station 132 km downstream from Somerset Dam.
There are two hydro-electric generating facilities on Wivenhoe Dam. The main hydro-electric facility is Wivenhoe Power Station, which is owned and operated by Tarong Energy. The other is a mini hydro-electric plant operated by Stanwell Corporation.
Wivenhoe Power Station is located on the eastern side of Wivenhoe Dam, between Splityard Creek Dam and Lake Wivenhoe, which is around 100 metres below the Splityard Creek Dam. This hydro-electric power station was Queensland’s first pump storage hydro-electric plant and began operation in 1984.
During the pumping phase of the operating cycle the generator will operate as an electric motor driving the pump to lift water from Lake Wivenhoe to the upper storage of Splityard Creek Dam. When peak electricity demand occurs, the flow of water is reversed, flowing from the upper to the lower storage and driving the turbine generator to generate electricity.
The pumped storage power station consists of two circular concrete silos, each of about 32 metres internal diameter. Each of the silos houses a 250MW turbine generator and pump set.
The power station can be controlled remotely from the central operating centre for the Queensland power grid system at Nanango. All aspects of the operation are monitored by computers within the centre. Twin 275KV transmission lines connect the power station to the State’s grid system.
The other hydro-electric facility on Lake Wivenhoe is located on the dam itself. The 4.5 mw hydro-electric plant is operated by the Stanwell Corporation, and is expected to displace the emission of almost 20 000 tonnes of green house gases each year and is used to release water to the Brisbane River to supply water to Mt Crosby.
Seqwater also owns a small hydro-electric plant at Landers Shute Water Treatment Plant on the Sunshine Coast. The project was commissioned in December 1999 at a cost of $1.1 million.
Water from Baroon Pocket Dam supplies water to the treatment plant through the turbine providing power to run the treatment plant.