Potential for pumped hydro projects with integrated wind energy to be explored in Upper Hunter

Located at Glenbawn and Glennies Creek dams, the two potential projects have the capacity to store over 1000 MW of energy for 8-12 hours, equivalent to the power stored by one million household batteries.

UHH Glennies Creek
The Glennies Creek Pumped Hydro project is located at Glennies Creek Dam in the Singleton LGA. Image: Upper Hunter Hydro

WaterNSW has entered into a development agreement with Upper Hunter Hydro (UHH) to explore the potential construction of two large pumped hydro projects in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.

As well as having the capacity to store over 1000 MW of energy for 8-12 hours, the projects also offer the potential for integrated wind energy, further enhancing their contribution to the renewable energy landscape. Glenbawn Dam, situated 10km east of Scone, and Glennies Creek Dam, located 28km north of Singleton, serve as sites for these UHH endeavours.

Should the projects go ahead, they could yield significant economic benefits, potentially generating 1,400 construction jobs and 80 ongoing operational roles.

As part of the agreement, UHH gains access to specified areas of WaterNSW land and reservoirs, facilitating investigations and proposal development for the projects.

The collaboration between WaterNSW and UHH reflects a concerted effort to leverage renewable energy opportunities on WaterNSW land and assets. It also signals a broader commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in the region.

In a statement welcoming the decision of WaterNSW, a spokesperson for Upper Hunter Hydro said:

"Long duration electricity storage is vital to making renewables reliable; to taking the abundant, affordable but intermittent wind and solar generation and firming it so that NSW can be provided with zero emission electricity that is secure, reliable and affordable."

"The 2018 NSW Pumped Hydro Roadmap made it clear that pumped hydro energy storage is an established and proven technology that can balance new generation by offering bulk energy storage over days or even weeks and on a utility-scale not currently viable with other storage technologies."

Andrew George, CEO of WaterNSW, also highlighted the alignment of the projects with the state's renewable energy objectives outlined in the NSW Electricity Strategy and the Pumped Hydro Roadmap.

"We have an opportunity to not only assist the transition to a renewable energy power grid, but to also assist in the creation of jobs, support the local community, and generate revenue to put downward pressure on water costs for customers," Mr. George said.

Director of UHH, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, lauded the opportunity pumped hydro could bring through supporting industry and employment in the Hunter region.

"Pumped hydro provides the long duration energy storage we need to make renewables available 24/7 and secure our clean energy future," said Mr. Turnbull.

To read more about Upper Hunter Hydro, go to their website here.

Energy Industry Partners


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