Aerial view of Cluny dam and power station

Cluny gets a little work done

24 August 2018

No not that Clooney. Our Cluny is about 30m tall, largely made of concrete and surprisingly about six years younger. Clearly, power stations deteriorate at a faster rate than Hollywood icons (arguably, they work a little harder), and the ‘work done’ here is closer to reconstructive surgery than your average aging actor face lift.

Back to our Cluny, which is the ninth station in the ten station Nive/Derwent scheme. It is located just outside of Ouse, below the Cluny lagoon. Unlike its namesake, the facilities at Cluny are simple and functional.  But still, fairly specky and well worth a visit if you get the opportunity.  Let's be honest, you don’t have to be an engineering nut to appreciate the hydrological wizardry involved in turning water into power or marvel at the physical magnificence of 28 thousand cubic meters of concrete being used in the Dam to hold back the Cluny water storage - that’s 12 Olympic swimming pools of concrete to you and me!    

Old turbine covered in rust, oil and dirtFor those that are interested in the numbers, the Cluny site includes a 204m long,  30m high arched gravity dam, adjacent to the power station which contains one 18.6 MW Kaplan turbine directly coupled to a 3-phase, 50 Hz, 21 MVA synchronous generator. 

Unlike the Hollywood version, our Cluny doesn’t hog the limelight, but works in the background to supply energy to Tasmania – you may have driven past and not even noticed. The power station provides 10 MW average per year of power which is roughly the same amount that is needed to light 10,000 homes.  

Cluny station was commissioned in 1967 and turned 50 last year, making a mid-life upgrade essential for continued safe and reliable operation.

The upgrade included a new Kaplan turbine and associated equipment which improved the power station’s running efficiency by about three per cent.  The new turbine runner hub also has an oil free design eliminating the risk of a major oil spill and protecting our precious waterways. 

New shiny turbineThe new turbine itself weighs 40 tonnes. That’s the same as 16 elephants! 

The Cluny upgrade involved a core 40 person project team plus several on and off-site contractor groups.   Additional design support was also provided by Entura and our Cambridge workshop team who carry out most of the large machining work required to keep all of our assets in tiptop working order. 

Thanks to everyone’s hard work Cluny is now set to provide another 50 years of reliable clean energy.

If you are interested in visiting one of our power stations, we hold power station open days between September and November. 


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