We're looking to expand our Shoalhaven hydro power station.
The current station was constructed in 1977. It consists of 160MW of combined generation and pump capacity at two sites. The proposed expansion will add one additional unit, or approximately 235MW, of new capacity.
The expansion will support more renewable energy coming into our National Electricity Market and make it more secure.
Hydro pump storage acts effectively like a giant battery, storing excess wind and solar power that can be quickly fed into the National Electricity Market when it’s needed.
The Shoalhaven hydro power station was designed to allow for future expansion, so much of the infrastructure needed to grow the station is already in place.
- There's space for a new water pipeline and no new dams are required for the expansion, while the increased electricity output will flow through the existing high voltage substation and transmission lines nearby.
- The tunnels and power station cavern will be located underground (at depths up to 300 metres), which will reduce impacts to the environment and community.
- A new intake/outlet will be built to access water at Lake Yarrunga to increase capacity at the station.
The video animation shows how this will work.
We conducted a pre-feasibility study to evaluate expansion options.
Now, with the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), we're moving ahead with a full feasibility assessment that will include:
- Geotechnical investigation including drilling, access track construction and site facilities
- Biodiversity surveys and assessments
- Bathymetric surveys and assessments to determine water depths and quality
- Traffic and transport assessments
- Land surveys (likely to be conducted by both aerial drone and on foot)
- Selection of major contractors
- Completion of final designs
We expect the feasibility assessment to be completed by late 2019.
Public viewing now available
Origin has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the geotechnical works that form a part of our feasibility assessment into the potential expansion of the Shoalhaven pumped storage hydro plant.
This EIS will be available for public viewing and comment until Saturday 23 March. The EIS can be viewed free of charge at a Service NSW Centre near you, on the Department's website, or in hard copy at the following locations:
- Shoalhaven City Council at 36 Bridge Rd, Nowra
- Wingecarribee Shire Council at 68 Elizabeth St, Moss Vale
- Nature Conservation Council at 14/338 Pitt Street, Sydney. (Please note that building access is restricted. The EIS may be viewed by prior appointment – please call (02) 9516 1488).