Big-T is planned to be constructed at Lake Cressbrook in southeast Queensland, Australia, and have a 400MW/10 hours PHES facility, along with a 200MW/200MWh battery energy storage system (BESS)


Artist impression of Lake Cressbrook, Queensland, Australia. (Credit: PRNewswire/Bechtel)

Bechtel has been selected to support the design and planning of a new large-scale pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project, dubbed Big-T, in Australia.

The US-based engineering company has been appointed by the project development partners BE Power and GE Renewable Energy.

Big-T will be constructed at Lake Cressbrook in southeast Queensland to serve as an extension to the national electrical grid by both producing and storing electricity.

The project will have a 400MW/10 hours PHES facility, along with a 200MW/200MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

Big-T is expected to produce adequate renewable energy to address the needs of around 288,000 households in the region.

Once operational, the project is expected to deliver significant savings in electricity costs and improve the reliability of supply to consumers.

In addition, Big-T is said to help Australia move away from coal-based generation, and contribute to its target of achieving 50% renewable energy generation by 2030.

BE Power managing director Scott Walkem said: “We are pleased to secure the services of the global construction infrastructure leader Bechtel.

“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 support the project development under a potential service agreement.

Under the agreement, the company will advance the design, facilitate early contractor cost savings and buildability, and support the feasibility study for Big-T.

In addition, it will advise on structuring core contracts and advancing supply chain engagement with a focus on maximising local content and indigenous participation.

Upon achieving the final investment decision, which is scheduled for late 2023, Bechtel would proceed with engineering, procurement, and construction of the project.

Bechtel Asia Pacific infrastructure general manager Scott Osborne said: “A sustainable energy future is today’s global goal and energy storage facilities have a significant role in us achieving it.

“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.”