The Australian-first seawater pumped hydro energy storage project proposed for South Australia has been awarded $500,000 in funding by each of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the South Australian Government under its Renewable Technology Fund.
The grants will partially fund the project’s second phase of works, necessary to proceed to a final investment decision.
EnergyAustralia’s Head of Assets, Julian Turecek, welcomed the ARENA and South Australian government funding which will enable crucial works to continue.
“Pumped hydro has great potential to integrate intermittent renewable supply into the grid in a way that delivers reliable, affordable energy,” said Mr Turecek.
“Last year we confirmed the project was technically viable; this year the rubber will hit the road as we stress test the project through front end engineering and design works, navigate regulatory steps and seek contract partners for the services that the project can provide.
“While we remain optimistic about the project, there’s a lot of work to do and hurdles to clear before we can make a final investment decision.
“We are very grateful for the support from ARENA and the South Australian government as we work hard to develop a modern energy system for Australia,” said Mr Turecek.
EnergyAustralia will continue to keep the local community informed of the project’s progress and expects to hold another community forum in the coming months.
A final decision on the project is scheduled for 2019. If it proceeds, construction for the project is expected to take around three years. Cultana seawater pumped hydro facility could be operational by 2023.