Pumped Hydro

The Victorian Government recognises the need to build a secure and reliable energy system for homes and businesses across the state. Victoria's transition to a more sustainable energy future will see more renewables integrated into the grid, particularly in high risk regions of the state.

Hydro power technology harnesses the gravitational energy in water, generating power when water is pumped into an upper storage reservoir through the day or overnight when prices are low (off-peak), then released into a lower reservoir during periods of high demand when prices are high (peak).

At a pumped hydro facility, unlike a conventional hydro scheme, water is not then discharged from the lower reservoir but pumped back to the upper reservoir during off-peak hours using electricity from the grid.

Solar pumped hydro facilities use solar power from nearby solar farms to pump the water back to the upper reservoir or to above ground tanks where no reservoir is available.

Pumped hydro energy storage integrates cheaper renewable energy and strengthen grid reliability. The technology can take power from the grid during times of high supply or low demand and store it as 'back-up' energy, returning it to the grid when demand increases or supply is low.

Combining renewable energy generation with large-scale energy storage capability is expected to help meet the growing demand for electricity at peak times in Victoria, as well as help alleviate the state's peak power prices.

Feasibility study announced in Bendigo

The Victorian Government will contribute $100,000 to a feasibility study that will examine whether Bendigo's mineshafts could be used with solar powered pumped hydro to generate and store electricity.  An additional $50,000 will come from the City of Greater Bendigo.

Read the full media release here.