How will this project impact water flow in Colosseum Creek and Little Colosseum Creek?
A key planning principle is to maintain water flow within these creeks, with least practical impact to aquatic habitat. The footprint of the water reservoirs will constitute a relatively small footprint of the much larger catchment area of these creeks.
When the storages are full during the operational phase, water will continue to flow into Little Colosseum Creek and to Colosseum Creek. This will include passive releases from the lower of the two storages.
When the storages are being filled the prevailing rainfall and weather conditions will determine how much of the water is sourced from the local catchment through runoff, versus external water sourced from the Agnes Water desalination plant.
The desalinated water would be delivered to the site via a new pipeline and will be planned to ensure minimal impacts on the local catchments and associated aquatic ecology.
Where will the water fill the reservoirs be sourced from?
When the storages are being filled the prevailing rainfall and weather conditions will determine how much of the water is sourced from the local catchment through runoff. In a year with above average rainfall the local catchments may play an important role in filling the storages.
In a year with average or below average rainfall the project will have a back-up water source from the desalination plant at Agnes Water via a pipeline.
We need to prepare a hydrology study as part of our development application to seek approval for this water management regime.
Will this project improve the water supply in Miriam Vale?
The project is expected to improve water security for Miriam Vale residents on reticulated ‘town water’ supply. The project can bring a reliable water source to Miriam Vale through upgrades to the Agnes Water desalination plant and the pipeline to the project site.
This is subject to further investigations and discussions with Gladstone Regional Council. Sunshine Hydro will report further on this proposal when more information is available.
Was Awoonga Lake considered as a water source?
The Awoonga Lake is too far away from the project site to be a viable water source for the project. Additionally, the water of Awoonga Lake is committed for other uses.
What will I see?
Most of the proposed pumped hydro infrastructure consists of two large water basins, which are linked by an underground water tunnel. Over 90% of the site will retain the existing vegetation, including rehabilitated sections, there will be minimal visual changes to the site, when constructed.
From some perspectives the top of the storage wall may be visible, but the lower storage and other project related infrastructure is less likely to be visible.
Electricity transmission lines will also be visible at some vantage points. Sunshine Hydro is in active discussions with Powerlink regarding location options. The proposed location of the electricity transmission corridors will be communicated when known.
When we have more information, we will develop and share a project visualisation to give the local community a realistic representation of what the project will look like from various vantage points.
Sunshine Hydro will need prepare a visual impact study as part of our development application, which will be shared with stakeholders.
Will there be wind turbines at the project site?
Any external electricity supply to the site will be supplied from renewable energy sources elsewhere in the region. There will be no wind turbines on the site.
What will I hear when the pumped hydro plant is operating?
The hydroelectricity turbines will be underground, with no noise disturbance to surrounding properties.
Noise associated with project construction will be in accordance with our development approval and will be mitigated to help ensure the least impacts to surrounding properties.
Where will the access points to site be located?
We expect there will be access from both Blackman’s Gap Road and Forestry Road. The intended entry points will be defined as the project planning progresses and shared with stakeholders.
Will Blackmans Gap Road and Forestry Road be upgraded?
Yes, Sunshine Hydro expects to upgrade both Forestry Road and Blackman’s Gap Road to facilitate the delivery of this project. This is likely to be a condition of development, which will be confirmed in the future.
Sunshine Hydro will need to prepare a traffic study as part of our development application.
How many jobs will be created during the construction phase?
The construction of the project is forecast to create approximately 500 jobs.
Where will the required workers for the construction live?
As part of the Development Application, we are considering how to service the construction of this project and where those workers will reside.
Housing this number of workers within existing housing is impractical. Leading options are the construction of temporary accommodation onsite, or in Miriam Vale, and/or transporting a proportion of the workers from Gladstone. This will be influenced by the job market at the time of construction, which is likely to be from 2026.
We expect to have more information available in the coming months. When options are more advanced, we will consult with the community to receive feedback on this important consideration.
How many jobs will be created during the operational phase?
The project expects to create between 40 and 60 local jobs once operational.
Will the operational jobs be locally based?
Our position is that these jobs should be offered to locals first. These jobs will be locally based, and we are not proposing fly-in, fly-out rosters.
Where will the hydrogen production take place?
The project is still investigating the range of energy storage products which can be generated, such as green hydrogen. Sunshine Hydro is locating a green hydrogen production plant at Miriam Vale which would be supplied with water from the desal pipeline and energy from the pumped hydro plant.
How will the produced green hydrogen be transported to Gladstone or other locations?
The project is still looking into alternative methods of storing hydrogen including liquefying it and possible methane production. The stored hydrogen may be transported by road or a pipeline to Gladstone Port.
We will communicate the viable options when these are further considered.
Renewable Energy from the pumped hydro plant isn’t likely before 2028, so there is time to work out the best option for this project.
How can I register interest to work on this project and/or provide services?
The project isn’t currently seeking contracting services as we are in the planning phase, and do not have the required approvals. However, interested suppliers can send their details to us via: email@example.com which we will keep on file.
Will this project impact my Council rates?
The project team is in early discussions with Gladstone Regional Council, but at this stage expects to be responsible for many of the upgrades needed to facilitate the delivery of this project.
As discussion with the Council continues more information on the upgrades required and responsibility for those upgrades will become available.
It is very unlikely that your rates will increase because of the Sunshine Hydro project.