About the Cultana Pumped Hydro Project
EnergyAustralia and its partner, Arup Group, are proposing the development of a 225 megawatt (MW) pumped hydro energy storage project using seawater near Port Augusta in South Australia. The project has potential to provide enough energy to power over 120,000 homes for around eight hours during periods of peak energy demand.
Pumped hydro energy storage works like a giant battery, storing energy for dispatch and use when demand for electricity is high. The technology has great potential to help deliver cleaner, reliable and affordable energy supply.
Feasibility and concept development for this project is supported by funding from the South Australian Government and ARENA.
Feasibility studies and concept development are ongoing with the aim to design a reliable facility while minimising social and environmental impacts.
The project received a second round of funding from ARENA and the South Australian Government Renewable Technology Fund in 2018 in order to continue feasibility studies and advance the project to a final investment decision. This funding will be used to complete the project design, including detailed engineering work, geotechnical investigations, equipment specifications, environmental impact studies and design of grid connection works. Ongoing consultation with all stakeholder groups will also continue to ensure any potential concerns or issues can be appropriately addressed.
Once all approvals are in place and detailed design and engineering is completed, EnergyAustralia will be able to make a final investment decision on the project. This is expected to occur in late 2019.
If the project proceeds, we expect construction to take around three years. That means a seawater pumped hydro facility at Cultana could be operating by 2023.
EnergyAustralia has been liaising with the Port Augusta Council since the commencement of the feasibility study in 2017. Community consultations have also taken place in order for project partners to meet with the local community and key stakeholders to understand their views on the project.
We will continue to work with the local community and seek to proactively engage stakeholders as we determine next steps.
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