Australia’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store solar generated power, the Kidston facility in north Queensland, has landed a $610 million loan from the Federal Government’s the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Increased storage and strategic transmission development will be needed to ensure the lowest cost and risk transition of Australia’s energy system, the Australian Energy Market Operator states in its latest study. In 20 years time, the need for storage will be at a scale not seen before in the NEM, and both pumped hydro storage and distributed storage are set to play major roles in lowering wholesale electricity prices and building a reliable and resilient power system.
Walcha Energy – a joint venture between Australian developers Energy Estate and Mirus Wind – has lodged the scoping report with the NSW planning authorities for a 700 MW solar farm, a 100MW/150MWh battery and its plans for a renewable energy hub at Uralla.
Australia’s biggest power producer has secured the right to develop, own and operate a massive pumped hydro energy storage project at Hillgrove Resources’ Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills region.
A recent Australian National University study shows that newly developed geographic information system algorithms can identify prospective sites for off-river pumped hydro projects throughout the world. The researchers, who identified around 530,000 potential sites, said pumped-hydro installations could enable large-scale energy time-shifting, as well as a range of ancillary services such as frequency regulation, which could help to integrate high levels of PV and wind into electricity systems.
The Coalition government has shortlisted 12 projects that could be eligible for taxpayer underwriting, and allocated $10 million to study the best way to meet the demand of energy-intensive industries in north and central Queensland. While there is no new coal among the shortlisted projects, the feasibility study promises to examine whether a new coal plant is viable in Collinsville.
A new study from the Australian National University shows that a series of pumped storage projects currently in the pipeline across five states could triple Australia’s electricity storage capacity, and pave the way for more solar and wind.
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