An economic impact report produced by ACIL Allen for Hydroster’s 200MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) system, has found the project – slated to be located in Broken Hills, NSW – will create significant employment during construction and operations, including through the supply of local goods and services

The total investment is expected to be up to $560 million, with the vast majority of construction expenditures occurring in NSW and the community of Broken Hill, with the project to employ an average of 260 full time equivalent (FTE) construction workers, peaking in the second year with 350 workers. It is anticipated that many of these workers will be from the Broken Hill region.

Advanced-Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) is Hydrostor’s long-duration energy storage system that provides reliable, emissions-free energy storage where the grid needs it. 

A-CAES uses proven components from mining and gas operations to create a scalable energy storage system that is low impact, cost-effective, and can store energy for up to six hours.

Hydrostor and Energy Estate are actively developing this project, which has received grant funding from the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program to complete pre-feasibility work.

The report demonstrates significant economic benefits to NSW and the local community of Broken Hill. Highlights of the report include:

  • During the 50 plus year project life, approximately 53 per cent of all operations expenditures will be purchased from the Broken Hill region, equivalent to a total of $460 million or roughly $12 million per annum
  • Over the project’s economic life (up to 2075), it is expected that the project will support substantial local employment opportunities with 70 FTE jobs in the Broken Hill region and over 90 FTE jobs in NSW as a whole
  • In addition to the direct jobs generated during the construction and operation phases, the project will require significant quantities of NSW goods and services, which will further increase labour demand across the state

In addition to these economic benefits, the A-CAES project provides a critical long-term grid reliability solution to the remote mining community, in a manner that does not rely on fossil fuels thereby eliminating potential supply chain disruptions and the need to truck in large amounts of diesel fuel over large distances to ensure electrical supply. 

The A-CAES project also enables the community and mining operations to grow over time, serving an increasing electrical load in the most cost-effective manner for the grid.

The CEO of Hydroster, Curtis VanWalleghem, said that Hydrostor’s A-CAES system will allow renewable energy to support the grid on demand, especially when wind or solar cannot. 

“New South Wales is one of the first regions to future-proof its transition to renewable energy by investing in long duration energy storage. Hydrostor’s A-CAES system will allow renewable energy to support the grid on demand, even in unfavourable weather conditions for wind or solar energy. This supports the direct replacement of fossil fuels and protects the Broken Hill energy system for generations,” Mr VanWalleghem said. 

The Principal of Energy Estate, Simon Currie, discusses how the technology the A-CAES system is implementing, is perfect for Broken Hill’s location. 

“Hydrostor’s innovative technology is perfectly suited to a location like Broken Hill. It will deliver long duration energy storage by utilising existing mine infrastructure and will facilitate the development of new renewable energy projects, as well as service the local community and new and existing mining loads. Compressed air projects can be sited more flexibly than other viable long duration options such as PHES, and Broken Hill is the first in a pipeline of projects we plan to jointly develop in Australia,” Mr Currie said. 

The Mayor of Broken Hill City Council, Darriea Turley, believes the project will be welcomed by the local community. 

“This is a very exciting and innovative project for Broken Hill, and one that I think will be welcomed by locals. It will bring employment and energy security to our region and provide a new method of utilising mining infrastructure. This project aligns with Council’s own Renewable Energy Action Plan and Sustainability Strategy and will complement renewable energy projects in our city well into the future,” Ms Turley said. 

In 2020, Hydrostor’s 200MW and eight hour (or 1600MWh) A-CAES system was selected by NSW’s Transmission Network Service Provider, Transgrid, as the preferred option in its Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) for reliable and secure supply for Broken Hill. 

To learn more about this project, visit:

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