June 20, 2024 9:01 PM

Pumped Hydro Project Targets Glenbawn and Glennies Creek


The list of renewable projects continues to grow at a fast rate with an announcement this week that two large pumped hydro projects at Glennies Creek and Glenbawn Dams are being considered.

Upper Hunter Hydro (UHH), founded by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife, Lucy, has entered into agreements with Water NSW to explore the projects anticipated to be capable of storing more than 1000 megawatts of power.

WaterNSW’s Renewable Energy and Storage Program granted access to land and reservoirs at both dams after what was described as a competitive tender process.

WaterNSW CEO Andrew George said the projects are the latest milestones in ongoing efforts to grow sustainability initiatives and identify renewable energy generation and storage opportunities on WaterNSW land and assets.

The two dams in the Upper Hunter near Singleton and Scone are just the first to be announced with WaterNSW continuing to assess all its sites to identify future opportunities.

Mr George said WaterNSW has been working closely with the State Government to ensure the WaterNSW Renewable Energy and Storage Program is aligned with delivering the State’s objectives under the NSW Electricity Strategy.

“Our program fulfils an action of the NSW Pumped Hydro Roadmap of bringing forward private sector investment in pumped hydro schemes,” Mr George said.

The agreement announced this week gives UHH access to the sites for investigations to develop the proposal through the feasibility and planning stages.  The project will be subject to development approval processes as with any major project.

Should approval be granted, UHH estimates the combined projects could potentially generate 1,400 construction jobs and 80 ongoing operational roles.

In an official media release issued by WaterNSW, Mr Turnbull expressed his confidence in the capacity of pumped hydro to further secure energy supply as the country heads towards a power supply dominated by renewables.

“Australia has abundant wind and solar generation, some of the best in the world,” Mr Turnbull said in the media release.

“But the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.

“Pumped hydro provides the long duration energy storage we need to make renewables available 24/7 and secure our clean energy future,” he said.

UHH director Roger Gill said that over 1000MW capacity, these projects will be much needed additions to Australia’s emerging suite of large energy storage projects.