Phoenix Pumped Hydro project receives $7m grant to progress feasibility studies

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Households in NSW soon to be powered by renewable electricity after Phoenix Pumped Hydro receives $7m in support from the NSW Government.

Up to 400,000 NSW households could soon be powered by renewable electricity generated at the Phoenix Pumped Hydro station after the project received $7 million in support from the NSW Government to progress feasibility studies.

The Phoenix Pumped Hydro project, located at the Burrendong Dam, near Wellington and within the Central West Orana REZ, will provide 810MW of capacity and storage for up to 12 continuous hours of electricity generation.

Minister for Energy Matt Kean said pumped hydro will form an essential building block of the electricity system of the future.

“Pumped hydro acts like a giant battery for the electricity system. It works by using surplus renewable energy to pump water up a hill when it is sunny and windy, and releasing the water back down the hill through giant turbines that create electricity when it is still and dark,” says Minister for Energy Matt Kean. 

“Bringing the grant funding and development access together will play a key role in fast-tracking the development of pumped hydro, which will be critical to replace our ageing coal fire power stations,” says Minister for Energy Matt Kean. 

Minster for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said through the WaterNSW’s Renewable Energy and Storage Program, WaterNSW is looking at ways to leverage its land and assets to deliver benefits for future energy security and its customers.

“WaterNSW is looking to the market to identify renewable generation and storage opportunities on WaterNSW land and assets,” says Minster for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson. 

“I’m really excited by this opportunity for WaterNSW to work hand in hand with government to support the renewable energy transition and at the same time look for innovative ways to keep our customers’ bills as low as possible,” says Minster for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson. 

The project will be funded by the NSW Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program and a Development Agreement under WaterNSW’s Renewable Energy and Storage Program.

It’s expected to be operational by 2030 and would play a key role in providing dispatchable, long duration storage to support energy market security.

The NSW Government committed a further $24 million to the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program in the June Budget. This funding is expected to expand the pipeline of pumped hydro projects that can make competitive bids for Long-Term Energy Service Agreements for long duration storage.

The NSW Government will also invest $23.5 million to undertake feasibility studies to develop pumped hydro projects on key WaterNSW assets throughout the State. The outcomes of these feasibility studies and the potential opportunities will be made available to the private sector in early 2023. 

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