2022 – Determining the feasibility of a new pumped hydro project, using an existing dam and reservoir

Rebecca Dew – Civil Engineer, Entura, Beth Scott – Senior Civil Engineer, Entura, Tim Griggs – Specialist Civil Engineer, Entura

Tasmania is an island state powered by hydropower and wind power and connected to Australia’s National Electricity Market by an interconnector running across Bass Strait. With an existing large hydropower asset portfolio and favourable topography, there are many potential sites for the development of pumped hydro. This paper examines the considerations and challenges leading to the site selection and feasibility design of a pumped hydro scheme utilising the existing dam and reservoir at Lake Cethana in the state’s Northwest. The approach undertaken is described, including the findings of a pumped storage atlas, the options siting study, and the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies that ultimately lead to the selection of Cethana as the preferred pumped hydro site from three top projects. Comparison of options to determine the preferred project and layout, including high level site identification, risk based multi-criteria analysis to compare different sites and locations, understanding, managing, and addressing stakeholder and environmental impacts, geotechnical investigations and feasibility arrangement and layout are all discussed. Keywords:

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