EnergyAustralia is planning to build a pumped hydroelectric storage project in South Australia.
The company partnered with Melbourne Energy Institute and Arup Group over the last 12 months to investigate the project, focusing on using seawater.
EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna, along with the company’s executive for energy, Mark Collette, updated the Cabinet Energy Committee on the progress they have made on the project.
Planned to be built in the Spencer Gulf of South Australia, the proposed project would have the capacity to generate around 100MW of electricity with six-to-eight hours of storage.
Tanna said: “Pumped hydro storage using seawater is just one of the innovations we're looking at to increase Australia's supplies of cleaner energy.
“The technology works like a giant battery and its great advantage lies in being a source of reliable, cheaper, renewable power.
“On hot days, when demand spikes, a pumped hydro plant can be brought into action in minutes, keeping the lights on and costs down."
The project’s site has 300m of elevation within 2km of the coast close to high voltage transmission lines, EnergyAustralia said.
EnergyAustralia plans to complete feasibility study for the project by the middle of 2017.
Based on the results, the firm intends to undertake detailed engineering design work, environmental impact statements, consultation with stakeholders and seek government approval.
The project, which is expected to provide peak power to the grid by the summer of 2020/21, has been awarded $450,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.