The New Zealand government will further investigate the viability of establishing a pumped hydroelectric facility on the South Island that would provide up to 8.5 TWh of annual generation and storage capacity to support the nation’s transition to 100% renewable electricity generation.
Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has sharpened its focus on long-duration storage in Australia, announcing it has acquired the proposed Bowen Renewable Energy Hub project that is expected to combine 1.4 GW of pumped hydro storage with huge solar and wind generation.
Construction has officially commenced on Western Australia’s first pumped hydro project but the state government has indicated it won’t be the last, hinting that the 1.5 MW renewables microgrid being built at Walpole could serve as a blueprint for the roll out of similar projects both nationally and overseas.
With construction underway on a $295 million (USD 197 million) transmission project to connect the landmark Kidston Clean Energy Hub to the grid in far north Queensland, developer Genex Power has announced plans to boost the generation capacity of what is already Australia’s largest hybrid energy project combining wind, solar and pumped hydro.
The New South Wales government has received bids for more than 5.5 GW of wind and solar projects, along with more than 2.5 GW of long-duration storage projects, in response to its first tender to secure renewable projects to transform its coal-reliant energy system.
The Australian federal government’s $20 billion (USD 12.6 billion) Rewiring the Nation program has kicked off with billions allocated to support two major interconnector transmission projects.
A plan to build a 2 GW / 20 GWh pumped hydro project in the pit of an old gold mine in southeast Queensland has been declared a ‘Coordinated Project’ by the state’s Coordinator-General, a mechanism intended to fast track the plan.
The head of the country’s energy market operator has reiterated his call for the development of a mechanism that incentivises dispatchable capacity, saying it is critical to underpin the growth of renewables as Australia’s energy transition continues to accelerate.
To quit coal and move to renewables, we need large-scale energy storage. That’s where pumped hydro comes in. Queensland’s ambitious new plan involves shifting from a coal-dominated electricity grid to 80% renewables within 13 years, using 22 gigawatts of new wind and solar. The plan relies on two massive new pumped hydro developments to store electricity, including the biggest proposed in the world.
Australia’s largest electricity generator AGL Energy is accelerating its exit from coal, announcing it will shut down the Loy Yang A power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley a decade earlier than planned, with the company aiming to abandon coal completely by 2035.
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