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GE Renewable Energy signs agreement with Walcha Energy to build 500MW hydro storage project

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GE Renewable Energy and Walcha Energy have signed an agreement to jointly build the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) pumped hydro storage project Dungowan in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Under the agreement, the Hydro Solutions business of GE Renewable Energy will provide technical and commercial support to Walcha Energy to facilitate the construction of the pumped hydro storage power plant in Dungowan, which plays a crucial role in the energy transition for New South Wales and Australia.

“The Dungowan Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point on the Australian National Electricity Market. The project represents a unique opportunity to tap into a high-head site, in close proximity to an existing reservoir.  It is strategically located between retiring coal capacity to the south and emerging wind and solar capacity to the east, west and north.”

Simon Currie, managing director at Energy Estate, one of the partners in Walcha Energy.

Ultimately, the Walcha Energy Project has the capacity to produce more than 4 GW of safe, renewable electricity. The Dungowan pumped hydro-storage power plant is built to anchor the wider development and ensure that the additional wind and solar energy can be fed into the grid efficiently and safely.

In the energy transition hydropower plays a crucial role. Hydro storage already provides 95 percent of all renewable energy in the world today. But above all hydropower ensures the required grid balance and stability. Upon the request of power grid operators, it is no longer possible to turn on or off the generation with intermittent renewables, nor to change their power output.

“Nearly half of the more than 8 GW of hydropower capacity operating in Australia today is powered by our turbines, generators or both. However, it has been many years since new hydro capacity was built in Australia, so GE Renewable Energy is excited and proud to be at the forefront of the next wave of Australian hydropower capacities.”

 Pascal Radue, CEO of GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions.
Nedim Husomanovic

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