Tasmanian pumped hydro options studies

Client: Hydro Tasmania
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Date: 2017 – ongoing

Investigating options for pumped hydro energy storage projects in Tasmania, to support the Battery of the Nation initiative

Background

Australia’s National Energy Market (NEM) is transitioning to greater proportions of variable, low-emissions sources of generation (such as wind and solar PV). This increases the need for flexible, dispatchable power and storage solutions to firm up variable generation. Pumped hydro energy storage (pumped hydro) projects in Tasmania could play an important role in supporting the future NEM.

As part of an assessment of the potential for Tasmania to make a greater contribution to the NEM, a concept study was completed on Tasmania’s pumped hydro potential.

Pre-feasibility studies are currently underway on 14 potential pumped hydro projects identified during the concept stage.

In parallel, separate studies are underway that aim to prove the viability of pumped hydro storage in the Tasmanian and NEM context, including consideration of future market scenarios and investment in additional interconnection.

Based on future NEM projections of these separate studies, the options identified in the concept stage are expected to be reduced through pre- feasibility studies, from 14 options with 4800 MW potential to a shortlist of sites with a potential 2500 MW in capacity.

Solution

Pre-feasibility studies will be carried out for each of the 14 selected options. The pre-feasibility scope will validate the sites selected for pre-feasibility study and adjust project location details based on improved quality of data and knowledge of influencing factors such as environmental and social impacts.

A ranking process and criteria for project selection will be established for future full feasibility studies. A business case, plan and prioritised schedule for future full feasibility studies will be developed, aligned with system development and timing needs identified in a separate ‘Future NEM’ project stream.

Outcome

The objective of the pre-feasibility study is to identify 2500 MW of viable pumped hydro projects ready for commencement of feasibility studies, in the context of future NEM projections, timing of new interconnection development, and existing assets and water resources.

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