Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program
The $50 million Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program (the Program) is a key action in the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (the Roadmap). The Program will provide recoverable grants to project developers to assist with the cost of early stage, detailed feasibility studies for pumped hydro projects.
Pumped hydro is recognised as the most established form of long duration storage. However, pumped hydro projects face long lead times with costly development activities taking up to four years to complete, and procurement and construction typically taking another four years.
The Program aims to establish a pipeline of up to 3 gigawatts of ‘shovel ready’ pumped hydro projects that can make competitive bids for Long Term Energy Services Agreements (LTESAs) for long duration storage under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard. As part of the Electricity Infrastructure Safeguard, the Consumer Trustee may run the competitive process to bid for LTESAs on behalf of consumers.
Indicative parameters of the Program include:
|Program budget||$50 million|
|Program target capacity||Up to 3 gigawatts (total supported)|
|Minimum project capacity||30 megawatts|
|Minimum project storage duration||8 hours (with preference for >12 hours)|
|Support type||Recoverable grant for Pre-investment Activities|
|Recipient contribution||Greater or equal to grant funding|
|Allocation process||One-stage application and award process
Competitive funding round(s)
|Required project operational start date||Prior to 1 January 2030 (consistent with the Roadmap)|
|Grant repayment||Grants will be recovered when the project reaches Financial Close|
|Project location||Within the NSW region of the National Electricity Market|
The NSW Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program Guidelines (the Guidelines; PDF 4MB) set out the eligibility and merit criteria for the Program and provide applicants with key information for their submissions. Applicants should familiarise themselves with the Guidelines prior to applications opening. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 150KB) .
See the Application process section for more details on the timing of the application and assessment process.
Applications are expected to open early in the third quarter of 2021.
The Program’s application and assessment process is competitive, and submissions will be assessed against the eligibility and merit criteria, which are further defined in the Guidelines. This flow chart represents a high-level overview of the application and grant awarding process.
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Overview)
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Detailed Report)
- Pumped Hydro Roadmap
- Case Management Service
To receive further updates or to submit question about the Program, please email pumped.hydro [at] dpie.nsw.gov.au .