New study finds Cultana hydro plant’s potential to generate 225MW power in Australia


A new study has revealed that the proposed Cultana pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) facility in South Australia’s Spencer Gulf could generate 225MW with eight hours of storage using seawater.

Conducted by a consortium of Energy Australia, Arup, and Melbourne Energy Institute, the initial feasibility study found that the plant has a potential of 1,770MWh of storage capacity, which is equivalent to more than 126,000 of home batteries.

The proposed facility would require an investment of A$477m ($374m) and is said to be economically viable based on several revenue streams.

The study required a total sum of A$1.1m ($86,176), which was contributed to by a A$453,000 ($354,886) fund from ARENA on behalf of the Government of Australia.

"Following engineering design, economical modelling, and planning approvals, the project could be operational by 2023."

Following engineering design, economical modelling, and planning approvals, the project could be operational by 2023.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “Pumped hydro is the most established and common form of grid-scale storage, which can capture and harness electricity produced by solar and wind so it is available when needed.

“We are exploring the potential for pumped hydro across Australia, and the findings of this study are promising for a seawater plant at Cultana.”