We're looking to expand our Shoalhaven hydro power station.
The current station was constructed in 1977. It consists of 240MW of combined generation and pump capacity at two sites. The proposed expansion will add one additional unit, or approximately 235MW, of new capacity.
The expansion will support more renewable energy coming into our National Electricity Market and make it more secure.
Hydro pump storage acts effectively like a giant battery, storing excess wind and solar power that can be quickly fed into the National Electricity Market when it’s needed.
The Shoalhaven hydro power station was designed to allow for future expansion, so much of the infrastructure needed to grow the station is already in place.
- There's space for a new water pipeline and no new dams are required for the expansion, while the increased electricity output will flow through the existing high voltage substation and transmission lines nearby.
- The tunnels and power station cavern will be located underground (at depths up to 300 metres), which will reduce impacts to the environment and community.
- A new intake/outlet will be built to access water at Lake Yarrunga to increase capacity at the station.
The video animation shows how this will work.
We conducted a pre-feasibility study to evaluate expansion options.
Now, with the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), we're moving ahead with a full feasibility assessment that will include:
- Geotechnical investigation including drilling, access track construction and site facilities
- Biodiversity surveys and assessments
- Bathymetric surveys and assessments to determine water depths and quality
- Traffic and transport assessments
- Land surveys (likely to be conducted by both aerial drone and on foot)
- Selection of major contractors
- Completion of final designs
We expect the feasibility assessment to be completed by early 2020.
Shoalhaven environment approvals
In March 2019 Origin submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the geotechnical works to the NSW Department of Environment and Planning. These works form part of the broader Shoalhaven feasibility assessment.
This EIS went on public exhibition for comment until 23 March 2019, and has now been approved by the Department. Geotechnical work will commence in late June 2019. The initial drilling program is expected to take approximately 12-14 weeks to complete and Origin will ensure any environmental impacts are managed in accordance with conditions set out in the Environmental Management Plan.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to the geotechnical work please contact us on 1800 465 719.
You can view the EIS and all related documents below.
Keeping you informed
We'll consult with local residents and interested parties through all stages of the feasibility assessment to keep them informed about the project and its progress.
We'll update this page as the feasibility assessment is progressed.