22,000 sites for pumped hydro energy storage
Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have identified about 22,000 potential sites
across Australia for pumped hydro energy storage, which can be used to support a secure and cheap
national electricity grid with 100 per cent renewable energy.
The zero-emissions grid would mainly rely on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, with support from pumped hydro storage, and would eliminate Australia's need for coal and gas-fired power.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers said the short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage
(STORES) sites combined had a potential storage capacity of 67,000 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) – much more than the capacity required for a zero-emissions grid.
Site searching and development of a
PHES cost model are being explored as part of an ARENA funded project.
The complete atlas is available on this site,
as is a press release summarising the work.
Our work has been covered by AM –
ABC Radio, the Sydney Morning Herald,
The West Australian, and
the Herald Sun.
Fig. 1. Potential PHES sites across Australia.