Macquarie Generation was established in 1996 as part of the NSW Government's restructure of the State's electricity industry. It is a State Owned Corporation operating under the Energy Services Corporations Act 1995 and the State Owned Corporations Act 1989.

Macquarie Generation operates two coal–fired thermal power stations (Bayswater and Liddell) in the Hunter Valley between Muswellbrook and Singleton. The two power stations supply approximately 15 per cent of the electricity consumed in Eastern Australia, from South Australia to Northern Queensland. This is equal to about 40 per cent of the energy needs of New South Wales.

Water is an essential part of Macquarie Generation's electricity generation process, used in the power station for cooling purposes. Macquarie Generation's extraction and use of water is authorised by the NSW Office of Water. The authorisation was initially by a water management licence under Part 9 of the Water Act 1912, and now by water access licences and combined water supply and use approvals under the Water Management Act 2000.

Macquarie Generation's water supply

Macquarie Generation requires a long term average of 72,000 megalitres of water per annum for the operation of its power stations. This water is extracted from the Hunter River system and stored in Macquarie Generation's dams – Plashett Dam and Lake Liddell.

Macquarie Generation also extracts water from the Barnard River to meet any shortfall from the Hunter River system. This water is transferred to the Hunter River system and stored in Glenbawn Dam for use when required.

Schematic of Macquarie Generation's water supply

Macquarie Generation's Water Licensing Package

The Water Licensing Package (PDF 548 KB) issued to Macquarie Generation comprises all water access licences and combined water supply and use approvals (under the Water Managment Act 2000) held by Macquarie Generation. Although the licences and approvals are separate regulatory instruments in themselves, their overall management is intrinsically linked. The package recognises the links between these instruments and helps facilitate the coordinated management of Macquarie Generation's water entitlements.

The licences and approvals authorise and regulate Macquarie Generation's extraction and use of water. They also contain provisions for environmental releases, transfer of water from the Barnard River to Glenbawn Dam and reporting requirements.

For information on corporate licences or to report an incident, please call 1800 353 104.

Read more about Macquarie Generation and its operations.