GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions is to provide technical and commercial support to Walcha Energy for the development of 500MW Dungowan pumped storage power plant in the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
The Dungowan project plays a pivotal role in the energy transition for New South Wales and Australia, and will potentially support the addition of another 4GW of renewable energy to the Australian grid
“The Dungowan Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point on the Australian National Electricity Market,” explained Simon Currie, Managing Director at Energy Estate, one of the partners in Walcha Energy. “The project represents a unique opportunity to tap into a high-head site, in close proximity to an existing reservoir. It is strategically located between retiring coal capacity to the south and emerging wind and solar capacity to the east, west and north.”
The Walcha Energy Project has the potential to produce more than 4 GW of stable electricity from renewable sources. The Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant is intended to anchor the broader development and ensure that the additional wind and solar resources can be reliably and safely fed into the grid.
“Nearly half of the more than 8 GW of hydropower capacity operating in Australia today is powered by our turbines, generators or both. However, it has been many years since new hydro capacity was built in Australia, so GE Renewable Energy is excited and proud to be at the forefront of the next generation of Australian hydropower capacities,” said Pascal Radue, CEO of GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions.
The New England REZ is one of the largest renewable energy zones in Australia and has been designated as a strategic priority by the NSW Government. The Walcha Energy project has the potential to provide up to 15% of NSW’s power requirements. The Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant would provide about 2% of that power, enough to supply roughly 125,000 households with electricity.