Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Clarence Valley takes ownership of former hydro power station

The assets and water licenses of the disused Nymboida Hydro Power Scheme are now officially owned by Clarence Valley Council.

The historic deal was finalised on Friday with the transfer of ownership from Essential Energy to Clarence Valley Council.

Clarence Valley Council General Manager, Ashley Lindsay said while the power station was no longer operational, the purchase by Council has secured the water infrastructure and extraction licences that were essential for the security of the drinking water supply in the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour regions.

Under the Regional Water Supply agreement with Coffs Harbour City Council, they will contribute funds towards the asset purchase.

“The Nymboida Hydro Power Scheme includes infrastructure that is essential to extract water from the Nymboida River into the Shannon Creek Dam,” Mr Lindsay said.

“The dam has a storage capacity of 30,000ML and is the main water storage for both Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour councils.

“By purchasing the facility from Essential Energy, we are ensuring this major infrastructure asset is secured to safeguard our regional water supply.”

The Nymboida Hydro Power Scheme was built by Clarence River County Council between 1924 and 1936. It has not been operational since 2013 when flooding caused major damage to the extraction infrastructure.

The current water licence only permits water to be extracted for drinking water purposes, so unfortunately it is not possible to either reopen the power station for generating electricity or release high flows down Goolang Creek for white water rafting and canoeing.

As a part of the deal, Clarence Valley Council will also be responsible for constructing a fish ladder at the Nymboida Weir.

“We are committed to the health of the waterway, this includes maintaining environmental flows and ensuring the Nymboida River remains a healthy ecosystem,” Mr Lindsay said.

All outstanding responsibilities have also been taken over by Clarence Valley Council with the purchase.

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