Five planned pumped storage hydropower projects with a combined capacity of approximately 1.75GW in New South Wales, Australia, are set to receive funding of almost NZ$45 million from the government under the NSW Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program.
Funding agreements are in place with the five plants to support pre-investment activities, establish project feasibility and develop a strategic business case. The plants and funding amounts are: 335MW Lake Lyell ($11 million); Oven Mountain ($9.64 million); Shoalhaven Hydro Expansion ($5.31 million); Central West ($9.44 million); and Muswellbrook ($9.45 million).
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the grants will help cover upfront costs and lower investment barriers for the private sector.
“If these pumped hydro projects proceed to construction, they are expected to create more than 2,300 jobs and attract $4.4 billion of private investment, which will help grow the economy and support the region,” he said. “NSW has the most ambitious renewable energy policy in the nation, which is needed to replace ageing coal fired power stations and build a clean energy future for NSW.”
Kean said pumped storage hydro is a key component of the State’s renewable energy plans, providing clean, reliable power and creating infrastructure jobs right across regional NSW.
“This is a win for NSW as these grants will be repaid to the Government if a project reaches financial close, meaning that these same funds could be used to support even more projects in future,” he added.
NSW has a target to build at least 2GW of new long duration storage by 2030, and the Government has committed $97.5 million to accelerate pumped hydro projects that could meet that target. This includes funding for private projects as well as funding to undertake site investigations for pumped hydro potential on existing WaterNSW dams.