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How we source energy

Hydroelectric Power Stations

Powering Australia when it matters most

Hydroelectric Power Stations

AGL Hydro generates electricity to meet peak customer demand to help avoid power outages.

AGL Hydro’s ability to respond to rapid changes in customer demand is extremely valuable. Established from the breakup of the former State Electricity Commission of Victoria; AGL Hydro operates hydroelectric power stations in Victoria and NSW. Our three primary hydroelectric schemes are in the Kiewa, Dartmouth and Eildon catchments.

On a long-term average, AGL Hydro supplies approximately 1024 GWh pa, or about 2% of the electrical energy consumed in Victoria. While this is a small proportion of Victoria's electricity needs, AGL Hydro also provides crucial support to the electricity system in the event of peak demand periods or other generator outages.

The AGL Hydro Community Support Fund is now open

The Community Support Fund forms part of AGL’s commitment to support the communities where we have project activities.

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Each of AGL Hydro's generating schemes are located on different river catchments. Using different catchment areas gives operational flexibility so we can maintain our customer commitments at any given time. Control of all generating plants is from a central facility situated at AGL’s 699 Bourke Street office enabling a rapid response to changes in demand.

Fire mitigation

AGL Hydro are committed to avoiding fire ignition caused by electrical assets as well as achieving compliance with relevant legislative and regulatory requirements while encouraging innovation, system improvement and the effective use of our flexible resources.

AGL Hydro’s policy is to mitigate as far as reasonably possible the risk of fire starting from those at-risk assets that AGL Hydro own. The Bushfire Mitigation Plan outlines the policies, procedures, standards, codes, and guidelines that AGL Hydro applies to construction, operation and management of our electrical infrastructure and sub-networks.

A snapshot of AGL's hydroelectric assets


AGL's main hydroelectric schemes

Scheme/Station Total capacity Average* annual output
Kiewa Scheme (VIC) comprised of:

  • McKay Creek Power Stations
  • Bogong Power Stations
  • Clover Power Stations
  • West Kiewa Power Stations
395 MW 404 GWh
Dartmouth Power Station (VIC) 185 MW 217 GWh
Eildon Power Station (VIC)  120 MW  184 GWh
A graphic showing the locations and capacities of hydroelectric schemes in Victoria, Australia, with Eildon at 120 MW, Dartmouth at 185 MW, and the Kiewa Scheme at 395 MW, represented by water droplet icons on a stylized map.

AGL's minor hydroelectric schemes

Scheme/Station Total capacity Average* annual output
Copeton Power Station (NSW) 22.5 MW 35 GWh
The Rubicon Scheme (VIC) 13.5 MW 64 GWh
Banimboola Power Station (VIC) 12.2 MW 11 GWh
Yarrawonga Power Station (VIC) 9.5 MW 50 GWh
Pindari Power Station (NSW) 5.7 MW 4 GWh
Burrendong Power Station (NSW) 19 MW 41 GWh
Glenbawn Power Station (NSW) 5.5 MW 12 GWh
Cairn Curran Power Station (VIC) 2 MW 2 GWh


  *Average annual output is based on each station’s commissioning date.

Stylized map highlighting hydroelectric power stations in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia, marked with blue droplets, including Yarrawonga, Cairn Curran, Rubicon Scheme, Pindari, Copeton, Glenbawn, Burrinjuck, and Banimboola, with a table listing their capacities to the left.

AGL's hydroeletric stations in detail

Banimboola is a 12.2 MW power station, operating since 2005 and located downstream of the existing Lake Banimboola dam, commonly called the Dartmouth regulating pondage. The station is located on the left bank of the regulation pondage dam wall. The Banimboola Power Station incorporates three generating units comprising two 5 MW units and one 2.2 MW unit. The General Electric turbines are horizontal s-type tubular turbines. Connection into the transmission system for the station is via the existing main Dartmouth Power Station.

Burrendong Power Station is located at the foot of the Burrendong Dam on the Macquarie River in central New South Wales. The dam can hold around 1,190 GL and has variable water flow. Burrendong Dam’s primary uses are farming irrigation and flood mitigation as well as power generation. The station has a total generating capacity of 19 MW and generates power using summer irrigation and flood mitigation flows. AGL Hydro has a lease for the site for 30 years from November 1996, with three 10-year extension options.

The Cairn Curran Scheme is a 2 MW irrigation-based power station built in 1960 at the Cairn Curran Reservoir on the Loddon River, near Castlemaine, Victoria. The Cairn Curran Reservoir has a capacity of 147 GL.

Copeton is AGL's largest hydroelectric power station in New South Wales, located 340 metres downstream from the Copeton Dam. The Copeton Dam has a storage capacity of around 1,364 GL and experiences variable water flow. Similarly to the Burrendong Dam, the primary purpose of the Copeton Dam is to supply irrigation for farming, domestic and industrial needs. The dam's secondary purpose is to provide a measure of flood mitigation. Dam releases required by State Water are made to assist in wildlife conservation in downstream areas, especially in the lower reaches known as the Watercourse country . The station has two Kvaerner turbines, giving a total generating capacity of 22.5 MW.

Built in conjunction with the Dartmouth Dam in north-eastern Victoria in the 1970s, the Dartmouth Hydroelectric Power Station is the largest single hydro generator in Victoria. It has a capacity of 180MW. AGL has an entitlement to draw a certain quantity of water each year to generate electricity at any time to meet electricity demands. Average annual electricity output from Dartmouth is 217 GWh, but varies widely with seasonal variations.

The Eildon Power Station operates four generators and has an average annual output of about 184 GWh. The station operates mainly during summer when irrigation water is released, with provision for limited output in Winter. AGL can draw an agreed amount of water from the reservoir each year to generate electricity at any time of the year to meet electricity demands. The limited quantity of water available under this special arrangement is not sufficient for sustained generation but it is very useful in helping to meet the short-lived peaks in electricity demand.

Glenbawn Power Station was built in 1995 within the Glenbawn Dam wall structure on the Hunter River about 15 kilometres south-east of Scone in New South Wales and has a maximum generation capacity of 5.5 MW. Glenbawn power station typically generates power using summer irrigation and flood mitigation flows.

Glenbawn Dam's storage capacity is approximately 750 GL with only small demands from other uses, enabling water releases for the power station on a regular basis.

350km northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps, the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme is the largest in the State. Kiewa houses four power stations with an average annual electricity output of 404 GWh. The scheme harnesses energy from the Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley branches of the East Kiewa River, which rises on the Bogong High Plains, and the West Kiewa River, which rises near Mount Hotham.

Pindari Hydroelectric Power Station was commissioned in April 2002, and is located on the Pindari Dam, near Inverell, on the Severn River in northern NSW. The station comprises two horizontal Francis turbines and has a capacity of 5.7 MW. Pindari Power Station typically generates on summer irrigation and flood mitigation flows.

The Rubicon Hydroelectric Scheme comprises a group of four small power stations; Royston (0.9 MW), Rubicon (9.6 MW), Lower Rubicon (2.7 MW) and Rubicon Falls (0.3 MW). Rubicon is a small run-of-river scheme with little regulation capability. The Rubicon scheme was commissioned in the 1920s and is heritage listed. The stations built in the 1920s are still operating and, because of their low operating costs and environmentally friendly operation, they will continue to play an important role in both the generation of electricity and in the protection of our environment.

Yarrawonga Power Station is adjacent to the original weir structure on Lake Mulwala, on the Murray River, on the south side of the Victorian/NSW border. Yarrawonga Power Station was completed in 1994 and is a run-of-river scheme using a Kaplan-type turbine. The station has two ESAC variable pitch Kaplan turbo-alternators, each with a capacity of 4.75 MW, and feeds power into the Victorian transmission grid at a voltage of 22 kV. Despite the power station's presence, Lake Mulwala is kept at a reasonably constant level for recreational purposes. Changes in the head are driven by changes in the height of the Murray River. These changes are directly related to precipitation in the catchment areas and water releases from the Hume Dam.

Upstream storage control at Lake Hume and Dartmouth allows consistent storage levels at Lake Mulwala. This permits Yarrawonga Power Station to be a relatively consistent power producer.

Community complaints and enquiries

AGL understands that we don’t always get it right, and we want to be informed when we don’t. If you would like to provide any feedback, good or bad, or simply ask some questions, please feel free to get in touch via the following channels:

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Complaints and Enquiries Hotline

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AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries,
Locked Bag 14120 MCMC,
Melbourne VIC 8001

Learn more  about how we handle general customer complaints on our complaints page.