Acen pushes ahead with 9.6 GWh pumped hydro project in NSW central west


The Australian arm of Philippine-owned renewable energy company Acen Energy is proposing to develop a pumped hydro project that would provide 800 MW of capacity and up to 12 hours of energy storage near Mudgee in central western New South Wales (NSW).

The Phoenix Pumped Hydro station would be based at the Burrendong Dam, the largest dam in the region.

Acen said the project, that will be subject to environmental and other relevant approvals, is progressing with geotechnical investigations now underway on site.

“These investigations, comprising of drilling, test pits excavations, in situ and laboratory testings are an important step in project design to understand the subsurface geological conditions,” the company said.

Acen has said that should the Phoenix pumped hydro project be found viable, it is expected to commence construction in 2025 and be operational before 2030, offering energy storage solutions to support several nearby wind and solar assets.

“With several renewable energy generators including wind and solar proposed within the renewable energy zone, Phoenix pumped hydro will help deliver the long-term, large-scale energy storage that will help to keep the lights on even when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing,” the company said.

The start of works at the Burrendong Dam site follows Acen’s announcement that it has secured more than $230 million (USD 150 million) in new financing to support its strategic expansion into several key international markets, including Australia.

Acen said it has signed a green term loan facility with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Singapore Branch (SMBC) with the new finance to support its plans to invest $6 billion in Australia as part of a broader strategy to expand its renewable energy capacity here and in the wider Asia-Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030.

Acen Australia said it has more than 1.5 GW of projects under construction or at an advanced stage of development, including the New England solar and battery projects, and the Stubbo Solar Farm in the NSW.

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