South Australian PHES atlas
South Australia is widely known as being the State with the largest proportion of
variable renewable electricity (wind and solar PV) within Australia. This is expected
to increase into the 50-100% range in the
coming years. Interconnection with other regions, demand management and local storage are
needed in order to ensure stable and affordable supply into the future. Pumped hydro energy
storage (PHES) is the most mature and widely deployed electricity storage technology
worldwide – 97% of globally installed grid storage is pumped hydro.
Although Australia is known to be arid, there is ample water to allow the use of closed-cycle
PHES systems to balance the electricity grid. We calculate the annual requirement to be less
than 1% of South Australia's annual extraction from the Murray River.
These sites were found using algorithms with defined search criteria within a geographic
information system (GIS) platform. This platform was used to find detailed information, such
as head, reservoir areas, and storage capacity. This list is not yet exhaustive – for example,
mining pits have not yet been analysed. We are also in the process of developing a cost
model that will determine the least cost option for the tunnelling between two reservoirs,
and therefore the location of the lower reservoir. This information will be available
in future releases of the SA atlas.
A simplified cost model can also be downloaded below.
An atlas of pumped hydro energy storage: South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the Canberra district (pdf, 2.7 MB)
An atlas of pumped hydro energy storage: Figures (pdf, 2 MB)
SA Site press release (docx, 54 KB)
South Australia Spreadsheet (xlsx, 53 K)
This spreadsheet contains a list of sites, and the basic characteristics of those sites. At this stage, matched lower reservoirs are not included. Head is assumed to be 300 m to allow an estimate of the potential energy storage.
South Australia .kmz file (.kmz, 1.3 M)
Google Earth can be used to view the potential sites. This software is free, and widely accessible. When used in 3-D mode with 3:1 vertical exaggeration, Google Earth provides good visualisation from any direction. This .kmz file can be loaded in the "Places" field to allow the user to visualise the potential reservoirs. These are shown with a representation of the dam walls. Clicking on a blue reservoir displays a pop-up with information about that reservoir, as does clicking on a dam wall.
Adelaide (Mount Lofty Ranges) (pdf, 17 MB)
Port Augusta (Flinders Ranges) (pdf, 19 MB)
Simplified PHES Calculator (xlsx, 12 KB)