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ATCO to build 325MW hydro project in NSW

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Image: ATCO

Global infrastructure and energy provider ATCO has signed an agreement to purchase the rights to build the 325MW Central West Pumped Storage Hydro Project near Yetholme, Central West NSW.

The 325MW pumped storage hydro project would be capable of delivering 2,600MWh of stored energy for up to eight hours as required, ensuring low-cost, long-term storage of energy.

The project is situated near Yetholme, 30 kilometers from Bathurst, adjacent to the planned Central West-Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWOREZ). It is situated in close proximity to major clean energy resources and a 330kV grid link serving the Sydney Load Center. The venture has the potential to become an important part of the NSW Government’s CWOREZ by large-scale energy storage and the availability of contract contracts for Australia’s emerging renewable energy market.

“ATCO has moved to secure its first renewable energy investment in NSW based on the policy certainty created by the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. The Central West Pumped Storage Hydro Project will be an integral piece of the puzzle in supporting the development of new renewable generation capacity in NSW and transitioning our energy system.

“Grid stability and security is one of the most pressing issues confronting the energy sector. Pumped storage hydro projects provide the long duration energy solution required to complement the short duration battery projects that have been recently announced.  This project is a critical part of securing our energy future and making NSW an attractive location for industry with stable, low cost energy supply as we transition away from carbon based fuels.”

Ben Bolot, executive general manager, business development, ATCO Australia.

“ATCO has been investing in alternative and renewable energy solutions for 30 years, and continues to respond to disruption in the energy sector through investing in our people, our communities and in innovative technologies and business models to deliver a low carbon future.”

Patrick Creaghan, ATCO’s managing director in Australia.

The NSW Government is in the early stages of the feasibility and preparation of the first national pilot Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the Central West region. This REZ is expected to unleash up to 3,000 megawatts of the next generation by the mid-2020s. The project will provide dispatchable power to ensure that the grid is stable and safe to promote the development of intermittent renewable energy.

The project is currently in the planning or production process, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2023 and operations in late 2025. The Central West Pumped Storage Hydro Project is anticipated to generate 200 jobs over the three-year development period of the project and 30 on-going jobs over the life of the project.

Nedim Husomanovic

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