Pumped hydro projects to accelerate transition to renewables

A series of Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) projects planned across 5 states could triple Australia’s electricity storage capacity, according to a new study by a researcher at The Australian National University.

Professor Jamie Pittock says if the projects go ahead, they will accelerate our transition to renewable energy.

“We’re talking about more than 20 projects being assessed or built. This would put us well on the way to having a national grid that could rely almost entirely on renewables,” Professor Pittock says.

“It’s really a game changer. It destroys any argument that solar and wind can’t provide the baseload power needed to keep the lights on in eastern Australia.”

PSH works by having two connected reservoirs. When there is excess power, (for example, on especially sunny or windy days) it’s used to pump water uphill.

During times of greater demand, power can then be generated by releasing water back down to a generator.

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