Bechtel wins deal from BE Power and GE for Big-T at Lake Cressbrook

Lake Cressbrook, Queensland Australia
Lake Cressbrook, Queensland Australia

BE Power and GE Renewable Energy have selected Bechtel to support the planning for a new pumped storage hydro energy facility in southeast Queensland, Australia.

The project called Big-T at Lake Cressbrook 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 percent 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.

“Bechtel has expertise in the delivery of power infrastructure including hydropower. Bechtel and GE have a long history of working collaboratively to deliver energy projects,” said Scott Walkem, BE Power managing director.

Bechtel in a news statement said it 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.

“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,” said Scott Osborne, Bechtel’s general manager for Infrastructure in Asia Pacific.

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