Funding for two pumped hydro storage projects
Two pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects have received $1m in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The first $500,000 will be provided to Energy Australia for the next-stage feasibility study into the Cultana seawater PHES project — a project that would be the first of its kind in Australia and have a capacity equivalent to more than 126,000 home batteries at a third of the cost.
In February 2017, ARENA provided $453,000 to conduct an initial feasibility study into the project which found it could generate 225 MW/1770 MWh of electricity. Including engineering assessments, planning approvals and financial modelling, the first feasibility study determined the project could be constructed and fully operational by 2023.
This next-stage feasibility study will complete the project design, including studies on environmental impacts and connection to the grid.
The second $500,000 will be provided to Zen Energy and SIMEC Mining for phase one of a feasibility study into a PHES project at the former Iron Duchess North mine in the South Middleback Ranges near Whyalla.
Using an existing mine pit as a lower reservoir, the project has an estimated capacity of 90 MW/390 MWh. The technical and commercial feasibility study will include high-level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.
A 2017 report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies noted that no large-scale pumped hydro facilities have been built in Australia in the last 30 years, according to Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.
South Australia is facing a significant transition issue which is implicating both system security and electricity pricing. That’s why the government is investing in such projects, said Frydenberg.
Construction on the Solar Energy Transformation (SETuP) project Tranche Two will begin this month.
Energy Networks Australia has released the first in a suite of guidelines for network companies...
New Energy Solar and SolarBuddy will deliver more than 20,000 lightweight solar lights to rural...