Turnbull's Pumped Hydro Projects to Power Hunter Valley's Energy Transition

Turnbull's Pumped Hydro Projects to Power Hunter Valley's Energy Transition

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is venturing into the Hunter Valley of New South Wales to explore the construction of two pumped hydro energy projects. Turnbull believes this technology will be crucial in achieving a low-emissions and reliable energy future.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has raised concerns about potential energy shortages as early as next year, emphasizing the urgent need for investment in renewable energy sources. Turnbull's company, Upper Hunter Hydro (UHH), has secured agreements with Water NSW to investigate the Glenbawn Dam near Scone and the Glennies Creek Dam near Singleton as potential development sites for these projects.

According to Turnbull, the planned pumped hydro projects will have a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts, providing eight to twelve hours of stored power per day. "It's the most efficient method of storing large amounts of electricity, using water as a battery," he explained.

While Turnbull acknowledges that batteries can provide short-term storage, he maintains that pumped hydro remains the optimal solution for long-term storage. Australia's coal-fired power stations are projected to close by 2038, with AEMO anticipating a faster-than-expected retirement of these facilities. Storage capacity through various technologies, including pumped hydro, is expected to increase significantly from its current level of 3 gigawatts to 57 gigawatts by 2050.