A feasibility study for a solar pumped hydro energy storage project in Bendigo could provide an answer to the question of “what do we do with old mines once they are done with them?”
The government of Victoria has just announced $100,000 in funding for a study to see if historic Goldfields mine shafts could be used in generating and storing renewable energy through the use of solar pumped hydro generation. Also, the City of Greater Bendigo council has also committed support of $50,000 for the research.
Victorian energy, environment and climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio said that initial research suggested such a facility could generate enough power 160 homes. It can also provide round-the-clock supply, thus boosting the reliability of the local grid and making the city an exporter of excess energy.
In total, Australia had around 1490 megawatts of pumped hydropower storage in operation in 2010.