The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has entered an A$8m ($6.4m) agreement with Snowy Hydro to accelerate the construction planning phase for its Snowy Hydro 2.0 project.
As part of the agreement, Snowy Hydro will provide information on future trends for pumped hydro and energy demand.
The company will also offer updates on reversible pumps and variable load generation technologies, which are expected to help develop nine pumped hydro projects being examined in Tasmania, Australia.
In addition, funding from the Australian Government will be used to help conduct Snowy Hydro 2.0's A$29m ($23m) feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement: “The Australian Government’s support for pumped hydro is part of our commitment to ensure reliability and affordability in the energy system and to build an energy network we can rely upon while reducing emissions.”
Drilling and analysis activities for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 are currently underway on the western side of the mountains around Tumut in New South Wales, Australia.
During its first construction phase, 29km of tunnels will be built between the existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains region.
When completed, Snowy Hydro 2.0 will be able to generate enough electricity to provide 350,000MW/h of power a week. The output will be enough to meet peak energy demand for 500,000 homes. The project is currently employing 350 people and is expected to create more than 5,000 new jobs during construction.