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

PR NewsWire | Aug 05 2022

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

SYDNEY, Aug. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – 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."

Bechtel has partnered with customers to build 50 hydroelectric plants around the world. Most recently, the company built the Keeyask Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada, which began generating clean renewable energy to power 400,000 homes earlier this year. 

The company has had established programs for over 60-years to provide opportunities for local community and First Nations participation on Australian projects. Early this year the company formalized its commitments in a reconciliation action plan to continue to support a diverse and inclusive workforce, and supply chain.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world’s infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place. 

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing&Technology; Mining & Metals; and Nuclear, Security & Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations. www.bechtel.com

About BE Power

BE Power Group is a multi-faceted energy company that develops, constructs, and operates power plants, with more than $4.5bn of projects under development. BE Power also undertakes electricity trading and retailing activities.

About GE Renewable Energy

GE Renewable Energy is a $15bn business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry including onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings.

Media contact:
Juliet Whitcombe 
C : +44 (0)7917 722304
Email: jwhitcom@bechtel.com

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