The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $2 million in funding for Origin Energy to assess the feasibility of expanding the Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Scheme.
If the $6.8 million full feasibility study is successful, this proposal would nearly double the capacity from the existing 240MW to 475MW.
Located 150 kilometres south of Sydney in the NSW Southern Highlands, the Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Storage Scheme currently consists of two pumped storage hydropower stations at Kangaroo Valley and Bendeela.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the proposed expansion would help provide large-scale storage and would inform other pumped hydro developments.
“For more than forty years, Shoalhaven’s pumped hydro scheme has been delivering reliable renewable power to the NSW grid. When it was built in 1977, Shoalhaven was future proofed to allow for more capacity to be added later on, which should reduce the cost and environmental impact of this project.
“The potential expansion of this scheme would provide more electricity over a shorter period so Origin can deliver capacity when needed – when demand is high or when renewable output is low,” he said.
“The findings of this study at Shoalhaven will help provide key understandings that can be applied to other hydro energy projects ARENA has supported such as Snowy 2.0, Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiatives, Kidston in Queensland, Cultana and the Iron Duchess in South Australia,” he said.
A full feasibility study is expected to be completed in 2019.