Pumped hydro reported to be next on energy list after gas announcements in South Australia

The Australian is reporting that a pumped-hydro project in South Australia is expected to get the green light for the Morrison government’s energy underwriting program in 2020, after new gas plants in Victoria and Queensland were the first to be given initial approval.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was critical the government move towards the “underwriting of reliable power into the system.”

The news agency reports that three South Australian pumped hydro proposals were included on the shortlist of 12 projects hoping to get financial support under the Underwriting New Generation Investments program, which is aimed at lowering prices, boosting competition and increasing the reliability of supply.

The pumped hydro schemes are: a Sunset Power and Delta Electricity project at Lincoln Gap, a Rise Renewables project at Baroota and a SIMEC Zen Energy proposal on the Eyre Peninsula.

There are 10 other short-listed projects under the government’s underwriting program and there is also a proposal for a feasibility study into the power needs of north Queensland, including a coal-fired power station in Collinsville.

As we recently reported, Australia’s Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP) published earlier this month, intended to be an “actionable” roadmap for the efficient development of the National Electricity Market, calls for more pumped hydro in the system.

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