Celebrating 60 years of clean energy generation for one of Queensland’s oldest hydro stations

    • Commissioned in 1963, the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station has been supplying Queensland with clean energy for generations.
    • To commemorate the power station’s 60th anniversary, CleanCo hosted a celebration on-site.
    • With a generation capacity of 66MW, Barron Gorge Hydro plays an integral role in the portfolio of publicly-owned energy generator and retailer CleanCo Queensland. 

Long before Queensland began its renewable energy transformation, the Barron Gorge hydro station in Far North Queensland had already cemented its place supplying clean energy to generations of Queenslanders.

Nestled within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area 20 km north-west of Cairns, the Barron Gorge Hydro has been a hidden yet important staple in the Cairns community for the past 60 years, giving locals a place to work close to home and thrill seekers the chance to paddle the Barron River rapids.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the power station, CleanCo hosted a celebration on site bringing together past and present team members to share stories of working at one of Queensland’s oldest power stations.

A publicly owned energy asset, the Barron Gorge hydro has proudly served Queenslanders, providing a reliable and sustainable energy supply for the last six decades.

As part of CleanCo’s fleet of publicly owned clean energy generators, the Barron Gorge hydro will continue to play a critical role in shoring up a reliable, affordable clean energy future for Queensland’s industries and communities for decades to come.

Quotes attributable to Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford MP:

“Hydroelectricity is one of the oldest forms of renewable energy.

“Barron Gorge Hydro plays a very important part in the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

“It also supports a really great local attraction for adventure-seekers with the water discharged from the power station creating the world-famous Barron River rapids.

“Whether it’s renewable energy generation or white-water rapids, Barron Gorge hydro has a special place here in far north Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to CleanCo CEO, Tom Metcalfe:

“Far from slowing down, operations at Barron Gorge are increasingly critical to the energy transformation. This last financial year saw Barron Gorge power station generate 334,416 MWh– that’s 47.59 per cent more than the previous year and the highest generation since FY2019.

“Even more critical is that Barron’s generation can be delivered when the market needs it the most.  The water resource is controllable, allowing Barron to play a vital role in backing up CleanCo’s solar and wind resources when the sun isn’t shining or the when the wind isn’t blowing.

“Barron Gorge Hydro has been operating for the last 60 years, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team here at Barron Gorge, we are actively planning for the next 60 years.

“That’s good news for Queensland’s energy transformation, it’s good news for the local community and it’s good news for the workers now, and into the future.”

Quotes attributable to Barron Gorge Hydro Station Electrical Apprentice, Aelira Catalina:

“There isn’t a single day where I don’t learn something new, whether it be practical knowledge or electrical theory related specifically to power generation. It feels very special to be a part of something that has such a significant history.

“The last major overhaul was done the year I was born – the modern station is as old as I am! Not only do I get to immerse myself in the electrical trade, but I am also surrounded by masses of experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, fitting and turning, control systems, and so much more.

“I have learned so much already and look forward to the next 3 years of my apprenticeship here at CleanCo.”