October 30 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will support a feasibility study by Australian utility Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) into expanding the 240-MW Shoalhaven pumped hydro scheme to 475 MW.
ARENA will provide AUD 2 million (USD 1.4m/EUR 1.2m) in funding towards the AUD-6.8-million full feasibility study, which is expected to be completed in 2019.
Shoalhaven, located in New South Wales, now includes two pumped storage hydropower stations. When the scheme was built in 1977, it was designed so that it would be possible to add more capacity at a later stage, noted ARENA chief executive Darren Miller. According to him, the expansion project will help provide large-scale storage and learnings for other pumped hydro developments such as Snowy 2.0 and Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation among others.
"We know that storage technologies – both pumped hydro and batteries – will be key to the transition to renewable energy in Australia, which is why we’re supporting projects such as this that will help deliver secure and reliable electricity," Miller said.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.710/EUR 0.624)