EnergyAustralia has announced its commencement of comprehensive technical and environmental studies for the proposed Lake Lyell pumped storage hydropower project. The project is slated to be established on EnergyAustralia-owned land in close proximity to Lithgow in New South Wales.

The initiation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) procedures closely follows the unveiling of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) by the New South Wales Government. The SEARs, outlining the parameters for the environmental evaluation, are available for public perusal.

Mike de Vink, EnergyAustralia’s Lake Lyell Project Director, said that a dedicated team of specialists will conduct exhaustive investigations over the course of the next year. The primary goal of these studies is to discern potential project impacts and devise suitable measures for their mitigation.

The experts will actively engage in on-site examinations, delving into areas encompassing biodiversity, aquatic ecology, preservation of Aboriginal heritage, societal consequences, water dynamics, climate effects, and more. The assessments will also encompass an evaluation of the project's capacity to stimulate local economic growth and foster employment opportunities.

Mr. de Vink underscored the scope of the investigations, which will span various times of day, seasons, and involve the tracking of transient and migratory animal species. The insights gained from these in-depth studies will guide the project team to ensure that project design and execution incorporate necessary considerations.

Emphasizing the significance of community involvement, Mr. de Vink affirmed the commitment to sharing the EIS findings and actively soliciting input from the local community. He further highlighted the project's responsiveness to community concerns by citing the recent adjustment of the project's upper reservoir location in response to visibility apprehensions voiced by local residents.

“We’re pleased to be making progress on the Lake Lyell project,” he said. “Pumped hydro projects like this, together with large scale batteries, are what Australia needs to store the excess energy generated by renewables, as we move away from coal and towards a clean energy future.”

The proposed Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project, boasting a capacity of 335MW, is projected to supply ample energy to sustain over 150,000 households for a span of eight hours. Additionally, the construction phase is anticipated to create up to 600 employment opportunities.

Anticipated around mid-2024, the presentation of final concept plans and the comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement will mark another milestone in the progression of the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project.