GE Renewable Energy has signed an agreement with BE Power to co-develop a 400MW Big-T (Cressbrook) pumped hydro storage project in Toowoomba, Australia.

Under the agreement, GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro Solutions business unit will provide technical and commercial support for the development of Big-T pumped hydro storage project.

GE’s Hydro Solutions team will be working alongside BE Power and its partners to optimise and finalise the design of the plant.

It will also support the project in securing financing and reach commercial operations.

BE Power managing director Scott Walkem said: “The Big-T Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point in the National Electricity Market.

“Being the first new pumped hydro project completed in Queensland in over 35 years, the Big T will help balance the output of wind and solar across the market, ensuring power is available when needed.”

Once operational, the Big-T pumped hydro storage power plant, will generate enough power to meet the demand of 200,000 households in the state of Queensland.

Big T hydro project is expected to support Queensland’s objective of achieving 50% renewables by 2030.

GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions CEO Pascal Radue said: “Nearly half of the more than 8GW of hydropower capacity operating in Australia today is powered by our turbines, generators or both.

“30% of the world’s hydro storage plants are equipped with GE’s technologies, including the reversible Francis technology that would be used at the Big-T project. We are really excited to join forces with BE Power at the forefront of the next wave of Australian pumped hydro storage.”

In August, GE Renewable Energy signed an agreement with Walcha Energy to develop a 500MW pumped hydro storage project in Australia.