|8 November 2016|

Australia 

Transforming disused gold mine into a hydro storage plant has the potential to power 100,000 homes

A study into the feasibility of converting an Australian gold mine into a giant battery storing renewable energy has turned up positive results.

The Kidston pumped-storage feasibility study – undertaken by Genex – has revealed the best design and potential of the project. The feasibility work is being supported with $4 million of funding from the Australian Renewable Agency (ARENA).

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said:“With the support of ARENA, projects like Kidston are helping Australia make the transition to a more affordable and reliable renewable energy future.

“This is a very positive milestone and a springboard for Genex to develop and finance the full-scale project.

“The favoured design would be capable of rapidly delivering enough electricity into the grid to power over 100,000 homes when it’s needed most. Early indications show it could provide low cost storage that’s significantly cheaper than other options such as batteries.

“It comes at a time when cost effective storage options are becoming increasingly important as more large-scale renewable energy generation enters the national electricity market.”

He added: “Genex is now focussed on securing finance for the project and is fast-tracking revenue and contracting negotiations.

“If everything goes to plan, Genex should reach financial close and start construction in 2017, in an achievement that would pave the way for more large pumped hydro storage projects at disused mines to support our energy grids.”