Australian power giant AGL announced plans on Tuesday to develop, own and operate a 250-megawatt pumped hydro energy storage project at an old copper mine in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills region.
The new plant to be located at Hillgrove Resources Limited's Kanmantoo copper mine plans to have sufficient capacity to store power for eight hours.
In support of a sustainable future, the company is committed to retiring existing coal-fired generation by 2050, and since the mine was nearing its end of life, Hillgrove sought proposals from the private sector to develop, own and operate a pumped hydro project at the mine site.
As a result, AGL entered into a binding agreement worth $31 million for the operating rights.
"The project would help us to meet the changing needs of the South Australian energy market, in which energy storage assets are likely to be needed to provide dispatchable capacity as renewables generation increases over coming years," said Richard Wrightson, AGL's executive general manager of wholesale markets.
"If all approvals are received, we expect the project to be complete and operating by 2024," Wrightson said.
Australia targets the generation of at least 33,000 gigawatt-hours, equivalent to about 23% share of total electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic