AGL’s proposed 250MW pumped hydro project at Bells Mountain, near Muswellbrook in New South Wales, is one step closer to being a reality as the company signed an agreement with Idemitsu Australia Resources to undertake an engineering feasibility study.
The agreement follows on from an initial concept study which explored the viability of utilising the void on the Muswellbrook Coal Company (MCC) site, which is no longer being mined and is suitable for the proposed PHES project.
AGL’s Executive General Manager of Group Operations, Doug Jackson, said the proposed project has the potential to create jobs and provide an efficient source of electrical energy to the Hunter region.
“As we transition to more renewable energy sources, pumped hydro provides a reliable on demand generation source,” Mr Jackson said.
“Flexible power supply, like the energy that would be generated from the proposed project has an extremely important role to play in an energy mix as it can be switched on to bolster energy when the community needs it.
“This project is yet another way AGL is investing in the Hunter region and ensuring our customers have reliable and affordable energy services.”
Pumped hydro works by circulating water from the lower reservoir in the mine void into an upper storage site. Upon demand, water is released and uses gravity to turn turbines and generate electricity.
The feasibility study will assess whether the project is technically feasible, provide cost estimates for both construction and operation, and assess the required planning and approval processes.
Renewable energies have a significant role to play in regional communities across NSW.
AGL is working closely with Muswellbrook Shire Council and the local community to ensure they play a key role in delivering new energy projects to the region.
The feasibility study is part of AGL’s commitment to deliver a mix of technologies to the NSW energy system and is expected to take up to 18 months.