Burrinjuck Hydro Project, Australia

The Burrinjuck Hydro Project involved the construction of an additional 15MW hydro-electric power station and the refurbishment of an existing 10.8MW hydro power station at Burrinjuck Dam. The dam is primarily used for irrigation storage and had a small hydro power station at its base which was generating 10.8MW of power.

Aurecon was involved from the project formulation stage to final commissioning. We completed a study to assess the feasibility of installing a new generating station next to the existing station and upgrade of the existing station. Based on the results of this study, a decision to proceed with the project was taken. 

Following this, Aurecon compiled a Statement of Environmental Effects and managed the development consent procedure for the client. After the granting of development consent, Aurecon was responsible for the design of the civil works for the new station, and formulated performance specifications for the mechanical and electrical works for the new power station as well as the upgrade of the existing station. Aurecon’s design resulted in the tripling of the generating capacity of the site.

Challenges included the proximity of the new station to both the dam and the existing power station, and the substantial excavation of very hard granite using blasting. The project specifications placed strict limits on the levels of vibration the blasting could cause, and diligent construction management was required to ensure the safety of the dam and power station.

Deep water diving techniques were used for the installation of the bi-level intake tower with strict precautions observed during construction to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety requirements. The intake tower allows warmer, more oxygenated water to be directed through the three hydro units. This ensures downstream water quality requirements are satisfied, as well as diverting water through the power station.

Aurecon was also responsible for the construction management of the entire works which required close liaison with the dam owner, the Department of Lands and Water Conservation and Eraring Energy, the power station operators.