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.
The release of Queensland’s $62 billion energy and jobs plan which would shift the state away from coal power by 2035 has been broadly welcomed but the resources sector has warned the government has plenty of work to do to attract the large-scale investment required to implement the strategy.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has launched a $62 billion energy and jobs plan, which includes the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the world. The government is also planning to convert publicly owned coal-fired power stations into clean energy hubs from 2027.
Prime Infra recently acquired a 500 MW pumped storage hydropower project in Rizal province in the Philippines. The company is also developing a 1.4 GW facility in the country.
The New South Wales government has announced funding for five pumped hydro schemes spread across the state as it looks to deliver large-scale energy storage and firming capacity to allow for an increased uptake of renewable energy and to help plug the gap left by exiting coal-fired generation.
US engineering company Bechtel will support planning for proposed Queensland pumped hydro and energy storage facility, Big-T, at Lake Cressbrook in the state’s southeast. The project involves a 400 MW pumped hydro facility with 10 hours of storage and a 200 MW/200 MWh battery system.
Australian energy major AGL has announced that Victoria’s largest hydropower scheme will undergo a $40 million expansion in a move designed to improve energy security and help support the state’s continued uptake of renewables.
Fortescue Future Industries and Woodside have been selected as the two finalists in the race to develop what could be one of the world’s largest green hydrogen projects, a 600 MW facility in New Zealand’s Southland.
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