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The New South Wales Government has allocated a grant to the Phoenix Pumped Hydro station which will soon provide renewable electricity for up to 400,000 New South Wales households.

The New South Wales Government has allocated $7 million to progress feasibility studies and upgrade the hydro station’s output.

The Phoenix Pumped Hydro project, located at the Burrendong Dam, near Wellington and within the Central West Orana REZ, will provide 810MW of capacity and storage for up to 12 continuous hours of electricity generation.

New South Wales Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said pumped hydro will form an essential building block of the electricity system of the future.

“Pumped hydro acts like a giant battery for the electricity system. It works by using surplus renewable energy to pump water up a hill when it is sunny and windy, and releasing the water back down the hill through giant turbines that create electricity when it is still and dark,” Mr Kean said.

“Bringing the grant funding and development access together will play a key role in fast-tracking the development of pumped hydro, which will be critical to replace our aging coal fire power stations.”

New South Wales Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, said that through the WaterNSW Renewable Energy and Storage Program, WaterNSW is looking at ways to leverage its land and assets to deliver benefits for future energy security and its customers.

“WaterNSW is looking to the market to identify renewable generation and storage opportunities on WaterNSW land and assets,” Mr Anderson said.

“I’m really excited by this opportunity for WaterNSW to work hand in hand with the government to support the renewable energy transition and at the same time look for innovative ways to keep our customers’ bills as low as possible.”

The project will be funded by the New South Wales Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program and a Development Agreement under WaterNSW’s Renewable Energy and Storage Program.

It’s expected to be operational by 2030 and would play a key role in providing dispatchable, long duration storage to support energy market security.

The New South Wales Government committed a further $24 million to the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program in the June Budget. This funding is expected to expand the pipeline of pumped hydro projects that can make competitive bids for Long-Term Energy Service Agreements for long duration storage.

The New South Wales Government will also invest $23.5 million to undertake feasibility studies to develop pumped hydro projects on key WaterNSW assets throughout the State. The outcomes of these feasibility studies and the potential opportunities will be made available to the private sector in early 2023.

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