CAES builder spruiks local benefits
The company behind an advanced compressed-air energy storage facility says it will inject $457 million into a region town’s economy.
Canadian company Hydrostor has released a study on its advanced compressed-air energy storage (A-CAES) facility planned for Broken Hill.
The plan is to repurpose a former mine near Broken Hill to store up to 200 megawatts of energy as compressed air.
CAES systems use surplus energy to compress air and store it in an underground reservoir. When energy is needed, the air can be released to a combustor in a gas turbine to generate electricity.
Hydrostor’s modelling, conducted by energy consultancy Acil Allen, says the plant will need around 260 full-time workers over three years of construction, dropping to about 70 full-time workers each year after.
The report found $457 million from the project’s budget would be spent in the far-west New South Wales region over the following 40 years.
Hydrostor Australia director Greg Allen said the plant would provide power to Broken Hill, secure supplies for mining operations, and stimulate more renewable energy projects in the region.
“What really stimulated the development of this opportunity was to improve the reliability of supply of electricity to the Broken Hill region due to some of the limitations of the existing 260-kilometre transmission line,” Mr Allen says.
“It'll create more capacity for electricity in the region, which will enable other mining projects to advance that tend to be a little bit hamstrung by not being able to get supply of electricity to those projects.”
Just over a decade ago, Broken Hill experienced a major power outage that left it reliant on two backup diesel turbines and fuel that was trucked in from Adelaide.
The Hydrostor project has attracted grant funding under the NSW government's emerging energy program.