Acen pushes ahead with 9.6 GWh pumped hydro project in Australia

Development of an 800 MW/ 9,600 MWh pumped hydro project in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone in New South Wales, Australia, is now moving forward, as renewables company Acen Australia has started geological works on site.

From pv magazine Australia

The Australian unit of Philippines-owned renewable energy company Acen Energy aims to develop a pumped hydro project that would provide 800 MW of capacity and up to 12 hours of energy storage near Mudgee, New South Wales. If built, the Phoenix Pumped Hydro station will be based at the Burrendong Dam – the largest dam in the region.

Acen said the project, which will be subject to environmental and other relevant approvals, is moving forward, with geotechnical investigations now underway on site.

“These investigations, comprising of drilling, test pits excavations, in situ and laboratory testings are an important step in project design to understand the subsurface geological conditions,” said the company.

Acen has said that should the Phoenix pumped hydro project be found to be viable, it is expected to commence construction in 2025 and be operational before 2030, offering energy storage solutions to support several nearby wind and solar assets.

“With several renewable energy generators including wind and solar proposed within the renewable energy zone,” the company said. “Phoenix pumped hydro will help deliver the long-term, large-scale energy storage that will help to keep the lights on even when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.”

The start of works at the Burrendong Dam site follows Acen’s announcement that it has secured more than AUD 230 million ($150 million) in new financing to support its strategic expansion into several key international markets, including Australia.

Acen said it has signed a green term loan facility with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.’s (SMBC) Singapore branch, with the new financing to support its plans to invest AUD 6 billion in Australia as part of a broader strategy to expand its renewable energy capacity here, and in the wider Asia-Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030.

Acen Australia said it has more than 1.5 GW of projects under construction or at advanced stages of development, including the New England solar and battery projects, and the Stubbo Solar Farm in New South Wales.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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