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$45 million to boost pumped hydro

pumped hydro

NSW’s pumped hydro future is being accelerated as five projects have been awarded funding under the NSW Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program.

Treasurer and minister for energy Matt Kean said the program provides recoverable grants
to pumped hydro developers to help cover upfront costs and lower investment barriers for
the private sector.

“Funding agreements are already in place with five applicants who have received a total of
$44.8 million to support pre-investment activities, establish project feasibility and develop a strategic business case.

“If these pumped hydro projects proceed to construction, they are expected to create more
than 2,300 jobs and attract $4.4 billion of private investment, which will help grow the
economy and support the regions,” Kean said.

The list of successful grant recipients includes:

NSW has a target to build at least 2GW of new long-duration storage by 2030, and the
state government has committed $97.5 million to accelerate pumped hydro projects that could meet that target. This includes funding for private projects as well as funding to undertake site investigations for pumped hydro potential on existing WaterNSW dams.

Pumped hydro acts like a giant battery for the electricity system, and 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.

“NSW has the most ambitious renewable energy policy in the nation, which is needed to
replace ageing coal fired power stations and build a clean energy future for NSW,” Kean stated.

He added that pumped hydro is a key component of the state’s renewable energy plans,
providing clean, reliable power and creating infrastructure jobs right across regional NSW.

“This is a win for NSW as these grants will be repaid to the government if a project reaches
financial close, meaning that these same funds could be used to support even more projects in future,” Kean concluded.

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