Queensland PHES atlas

Fig. 1. Potential PHES sites in Queensland. Click here for a higher resolution image.

Queensland has many potential sites for pumped hydro energy storage (PHES). The number of upper storage sites located in our initial survey is 1769, with an approximate energy storage potential of 6779 GWh – approximately 100 times larger than the amount of storage required to support a 100% renewable electricity grid for Queensland. This large number provides some confidence that there will be a good number of technically feasible PHES sites. Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) is the most mature and widely deployed electricity storage technology worldwide – 97% of globally installed grid storage is pumped hydro.

These sites were found using algorithms with defined search criteria within a geographic information system (GIS) platform. This platform was used to find detailed information, such as head, reservoir areas, and storage capacity. This list is not yet exhaustive. We are also in the process of developing a cost model that will determine the least cost option for the tunnelling between two reservoirs, and therefore the location of the lower reservoir. This information will be available in future releases of the atlas.


Queensland spreadsheet (xlsx, 584 KB)

This spreadsheet contains a list of sites, and the basic characteristics of those sites. At this stage, matched lower reservoirs are not included. Head is assumed to be 400 m to allow an estimate of the potential energy storage.

The following Google Maps link provides the locations of the PHES sites (the reservoirs can be seen using the Google Earth files below):

Google Map link for reservoir locations in Queensland

Google Earth can be used to view the potential reservoirs. This software is free, and widely accessible. When used in 3-D mode with 3:1 vertical exaggeration, Google Earth provides good visualisation from any direction. This .kmz file can be loaded in the "Places" field to allow the user to visualise the potential reservoirs. These are shown with a representation of the dam walls. Clicking on a blue reservoir displays a pop-up with information about that reservoir, as does clicking on a dam wall.

Queensland Central Region .kmz file (.kmz, 6.4 MB)

Queensland North Region .kmz file (.kmz, 5.9 MB)

Queensland South Region .kmz file (.kmz, 3 MB)

Please refer to our Google Earth FAQs for more information.

Fig. 2. Regions within Queensland.

Updated:  11 October 2017/ Responsible Officer:  RE100 Leader/ Page Contact:  RE100 Webmaster