Western Australian PHES atlas
Although Western Australia is not as mountainous as other regions of Australia, there are still many potential PHES sites – 200 times more
than necessary to transform the current electricity system to a clean, renewable supply. There are possible sites that could
provide energy balancing for the resources centres near Port Hedland. Lake Argyle, in the North of WA,
could be used to provide energy balancing for solar farms. This electricity could be exported to South East Asia,
through a submarine High Voltage Direct Current transmission link. 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. 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 atlas.