AGL, Hillgrove Resources mutually agree to end 250-MW Kanmantoo pumped storage project

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AGL and Hillgrove Resources Limited have mutually agreed not to proceed with a proposed 250-MW pumped hydro energy storage project at the Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia. Hillgrove and AGL could not reach agreement on a way forward to progress the project, according to AGL’s Richard Wrightson, executive general manager of wholesale markets.

“The signing was the start of a multiple stage process to progress the project and the agreements were subject to a number of conditions which needed to be satisfied within specified timeframes,” Wrightson said. “As a result, Hillgrove and AGL have mutually agreed to terminate the PHES Project Agreement without any ongoing obligation on either party.”

AGL announced in April 2019 that it had secured the right to develop, own and operate the project at Hillgrove Resources’ Kanmantoo mine.

Wrightson said AGL remains committed to continuing the development of energy storage projects, such as pumped hydro and batteries, to provide firming capacity to the market.

“We have announced a number of storage projects to provide the firming capacity the market needs, such as the 100-MW Wandoan battery with Vena Energy in Queensland, a 30-MW battery with ElectraNet in South Australia, and four 50-MW batteries to be built by Maoneng Group in NSW,” he said.

“We’re also looking at the feasibility of a pumped hydro plant at Bells Mountain in [New South Wales], which if progressed will provide more than 250 MW of new storage capacity, and we’re working with the NSW Government on a proposal to build a 50-MW battery at Broken Hill.”

AGL and Idemitsu signed an agreement in July 2019 to undertake an engineering feasibility for the proposed Bells Mountain pumped storage project, which would use the voice on the Muswellbrook Coal Company site, which is no longer being mined. At that time, AGL said the feasibility study was expected to take up to 18 months.

Sydney-based AGL Energy Ltd. AGL serves about 3.7 million electric and natural gas customers in Australia. The company’s generation resources include solar, wind, natural gas, coal and hydroelectric facilities.

AGL operates 11 hydroelectric schemes in Victoria and NSW. They are: 12.2-MW Banimboola Power Station, 19-MW Burrendong Power Station, 2-MW Cairn Curran Power Station, 22.5-MW Copeton Power Station, 185-MW Dartmouth Power Station, 120-MW Eildon Power Station, 5.5-MW Glenbawn Power Station, 395-MW Kiewa Scheme, 5.7-MW Pindari Power Station, 13.5-MW Rubicon Scheme and 9.5-MW Yarrawonga Power Station.

While these stations only provide about 2% of the electrical energy consumed in Victoria, AGL says its hydro plants provide “crucial support to the electricity system in the event of peak demand periods or other generator outages.”

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