EDF to drive development of 3 GWh pumped hydro project

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The Dungowan Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project being developed near Tamworth in regional New South Wales (NSW) has been acquired by France-headquartered EDF Group from Australian renewable energy developers Mirus Energy and Energy Estate which will continue their involvement as co-developers.

Located in the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), the Dungowan PHES is proposed to have a capacity of 300 MW for up to 10 hours duration and will be located downstream of the existing Dungowan Dam.

EDF Australia Chief Executive Officer James Katsikas said the acquisition and joint development of the project demonstrates the company’s commitment to develop critical, clean energy infrastructure in Australia and to work with local communities in doing so.

“We intend to work very closely with the local community,” he said.

“Our goal is not only to facilitate clean, renewable energy for the region, but also to foster economic growth and create new opportunities for local businesses and residents.”

The Dungowan PHES project has been in development since 2014 and was awarded pre-investment studies funding by the NSW government under the emerging energy program in 2019.

Mirus Energy founder Mark Waring said the project is indeally located and will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point on the Australian National Electricity Market.

“We carefully selected the site for the Dungowan PHES so it could support the development of the wind and solar renewable energy resources in the New England region,” he said.

“It is strategically located between retiring coal capacity to the south and wind and solar capacity to the east, west and north. The project is located so it can connect to new transmission infrastructure being developed by EnergyCo or the existing transmission lines.”

Energy Estate co-founder Simon Currie said EDF is the ideal partner to drive the development of the project, noting that it “understands the complexities of developing large-scale pumped hydro projects and we are able to leverage their global resources, capacity and access global supply chains.”

“An accelerated transition of the energy sector in NSW requires new entrants with a track record of successful delivery and a long-term commitment,” he said.

EDF’s acquisition of the project forms part of its long-term plans for Australia with Katsikas saying the company is aiming to develop a portfolio of clean energy projects across multiple states.

“We have rapidly built a development team on the ground in Australia through the first half of 2023 and will continue to grow the team as we accelerate,” he said.

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