The Ord River hydro power plant achieves two key aims: it provides electricity to the Argyle Diamond Mine and the nearby towns of Kununurra and Wyndham – and does so in an environmentally friendly way.
Indeed, the Ord River hydro power plant has enabled renewable energy to become the sole source of electricity for the region.
A hydro power plant was first envisioned for the Ord River region in 1963 but due to agricultural difficulties in the region, the right conditions didn’t show themselves until 30 years later.
When it began generating power in 1997, The Ord hydro power plant was the largest private sector renewable energy project completed in Australia and was the recipient of an Engineering Excellence award in 1996.
The project provides base-load power delivered via its own 132 kV transmission network and remains the largest generator of hydroelectricity in Western Australia, generating over 212 GWh of emission-free energy each year which are purchased by Horizon Power and the Argyle Diamond Mine.
It is estimated that as many as 40,000 houses use the electricity created by the power station.
Hydrogen Feasibility Study
In January 2020, Pacific Hydro was awarded funding from WA’s McGowan Government to conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential of a co-located hydrogen Facility at The Ord. The location provides a unique opportunity for hydrogen production, utilising low cost, high availability, dispatchable renewable energy and access to water.
For more information about the study, click here.