Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is pleased the Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $1 million to conduct two feasibility studies into pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects in the Grey electorate.
“A half a million dollar grant will enable EnergyAustralia to complete the next stage feasibility study into the Cultana seawater PHES project – a first of its kind project in Australia which would have a capacity equivalent to more than 126,000 home batteries at a third of the cost,” he said.
“The proposed Cultana project at Cultana, would buy electricity cheaply when there is a surplus and despatch it when needed, providing stability to SA users.
“Storage is the most critical component to stabilising the SA network. The State Government should insist all new renewable projects include a storage component. Without this commitment every new intermittent generator actually undermines the viability of the base-load generators, essential to keeping the lights on.”
The Cultana project, supported by a $435k grant last year has already assessed the project would generate 225MW for almost eight hours. It is a genuinely large capacity storage, fourteen times bigger by comparison than the Jametown battery and could be operational by 2023.
Half a million dollars will also assist Zen Energy and SIMEC Mining compile a feasibility study into a PHES project at the former Iron Duchess North mine in the South Middleback Ranges near Whyalla.
Utilising an existing mine pit as a lower reservoir, the project has an estimated capacity of 90MW for four hours. The study will include high level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.
“Sanjeev Gupta’s acquisition of a signigicant stake in Zen Energy bodes well for a prosperous, sustainable future for both Zen and GFG Alliance,”Mr Ramsey said.
“The Turnbull Government is investing in innovative solutions to our electricity problems including in price and reliability.”