Central West Pumped Hydro Project
The Central West Pumped Hydro Project is a pumped storage hydro project in the early stages of project assessment and development, located between Bathurst and Lithgow, within 2.5 hours of Sydney.
ATCO Australia is proposing to develop the Central West Pumped Hydro Project (the Project).
When completed, the Project will store energy during periods of surplus electricity generation and generate energy during periods of high demand using the stored energy under a daily cycle regime. This process will generate sufficient energy to power over 153,000 homes, providing some 200 jobs during construction and 30 jobs on an ongoing basis.
Our long term community investment will be developed collaboratively during the project development phase, to deliver benefits to the community where we will live and work over the life of the project. The Project will deliver other local benefits such as upgrades to existing local infrastructure and roads.
Additionally, the project will require improvements to local telecommunications infrastructure, which is expected to improve coverage in the local area.
An important stage of project development is the independent planning process. The first stage involves the preparation of documentation explaining the proposed development. Called a Scoping Report, it includes high level information on the proposed project and is used by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and other agencies to develop the assessment requirements for the project that are necessary to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement. These assessment requirements are called the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).
The Scoping Report and SEARs are now available on the NSW DPE Planning Portal and can be found HERE
The EPBC Referral was submitted to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water on 26 September 2022. The CWPH Project has been determined as a Controlled Action. The determination can be found HERE
How does pumped hydro work?
Pumped hydro utilises two bodies of water, known as reservoirs, which are interconnected and located at different elevations, with a hydro power station situated near the lower reservoir.
Electricity is generated when water is released from the upper reservoir through the hydroelectric turbines. When surplus electricity is being produced by the electricity grid, for instance when there is excess variable energy from solar or wind, the water is then pumped from the lower reservoir back up to the upper reservoir using this excess electricity.
Using pumped hydro to create energy will assist in ‘evening out’ the variable energy generation resulting from the increased presence of wind and solar in the electricity grid, while facilitating the decarbonising of the national electricity grid and contributing to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Location: Yetholme, NSW
Construction Start Date: Late 2024
Operation Commences: 2027
Operational Water Requirement: 3GL
Power Capacity: 325MW
Energy Storage: 2,600 MWh (8 hours)
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Keep up to date with progression on the Central West Pumped Hydro Project by signing up to Project updates here.
We will also hold community open days throughout the Project development.
We value the input and feedback from the community and would love to hear from you.
Please contact us to get involved or learn more. You're always welcome to call into the ATCO Office at 1-52 Keppel Street, Bathurst, during business hours Monday-Thursday.