IPPToday #46: Feasibility study underway for 2-GW Aussie pumped hydro project
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
- Snowy Hydro Limited
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The Australian Government has confirmed an agreement between the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Snowy Hydro had been reached to drive planning for the construction of the project and insight for future pumped hydro projects into the future.
The government has committed AUD8 million for the feasibility study of the project. The total spend on the planning phase will be AUD29 million and be completed before the end of the year.
Snowy Hydro 2.0 will have enough capacity to provide 350,000 MW/h of power for a week, enough to meet peak demand continuously for 500,000 homes.
The project will help safeguard the energy security of the eastern seaboard, particularly on hot summer days and cold winter nights, while providing a jobs bonanza during the construction phase. Snowy Hydro 2.0 is already employing 350 people and will create more than 5,000 new jobs during the construction phase of the development.
In its first stage of construction, the project will see a 2000 MW of underground generation and 29 km of tunnels between existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains region.
Under the agreement with ARENA, Snowy will provide information on future trends for pumped hydro and energy demand, as well as the latest information on technology such as reversible pumps or variable load generation.
This information will help the potential next wave of pumped hydro projects, such as the nine pumped projects being examined in Tasmania.
The Australian Government’s support for pumped hydro is part of its commitment to ensure reliability and affordability in the energy system and to build an energy network we can rely upon while reducing emissions.
We have lately informed about other hydropower projects in Australia:
- 250 MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Northern Queensland, which consist of an upper and lower reservoir, in addition to an adjacent balancing storage pit. In August, Genex Power, the sponsor of the project, received first-round board approval from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for potential debt funding.
- 100 MW seawater pumped storage project in Spencer Gulf. The project involves a 100-MW pumped storage project which will use sea water for its functioning. It will be situated 2 km of the coast and has an elevation of 300 meters.