Somerset Dam set for $11 million rebuild

SOMERSET Dam's hydro-electric plant is set to undergo a major refurbishment that will increase its capacity to provide renewable energy.

Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey said once ready, the plant would generate electricity from the regulated flow of water from Somerset into Wivenhoe Dam.

The plant first came online in 1954, but has not been operational since the 2011 floods.

Mr Bailey said the floods triggered a comprehensive study to see if a rebuild was feasible.

"The plant, which first generated power in 1954, has not been operational since it was inundated by the January 2011 floods," Mr Bailey said.

"The plant will be restored to virtually as-new condition, including automatic control with remote interface," he said.

"Key innovations have been provided through the use of 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics to maximise power output and efficiency gains from the refurbished plant.

"This means a far more effective and efficient plant."

The work will cost $11.6 million, but will increase the plant's capacity from 3.2 to 4.1 megawatts.

"Hydro-electricity is the second largest source of large-scale renewable energy in Queensland, with over 200 megawatts of installed capacity," Mr Bailey said.

"Hydro-electric generators provide a reliable source of power that can be dispatched when required.

"Somerset Dam will remain one of the region's major drinking water storages with the added benefit of being able to produce green energy for South East Queensland."

Acting Seqwater CEO Jim Pruss said the plant would be able to operate up to 24 hours a day as required.

"The operation of the plant will be based on dam levels, rainfall and potential inflows into the dams which Seqwater closely monitors," Mr Pruss said.

"The original turbine casing that was installed in 1954 will be retained within the refurbished plant.

"The refurbishment works will include the redesign of the original turbine for increased output and efficiency, and installation of a new generator and control system to provide reliability and remote operation."

The refurbished plant is expected to be operational in the first half of 2017.

For more information visit

Topics:  refurbishment renewable energy somerset dam

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.