The proposed Lake Onslow Pumped Hydro project, located north-east of the Clutha River, New Zealand, would comprise a pumped hydro storage project with up to five terrawatt hours of storage capacity.
The project forms part of the NZ Battery program, which is considering possible solutions to New Zealand’s dry year electricity problem. Other options include:
- biomass, biogas and biofuels
- geothermal energy, including novel approaches to using it
- hydrogen or other green vectors (green ammonia)
- compressed or liquid air, and
- flow batteries.
|Oct 2021||Project Announcement|
|Oct 2021||The Te Rōpū Matatau consortium, comprising Mott MacDonald New Zealand, GHD and Boffa Miskell was awarded the contract to conduct a feasibility study into the project.|
|Oct 2022||The Te Rōpū Matatau consortium, comprising Mott MacDonald New Zealand, GHD and Boffa Miskell was awarded the contract for targeted engineering, environmental planning and geotechnical feasibility investigation.|
|Mar 2023||Following Phase One investigations by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, the Lake Onslow Pumped Hydro's total cost was estimated at NZ$15.7 billion. In addition, the investigations identified that required transmission upgrades to support the scheme would have an estimated total cost of NZ$615 million.|
|Apr 2023||The New Zealand Government published the Indicative Business Case for the Lake Onslow Pumped Hydro Project. The Business Case identified two shortlisted options, a 5TWh/1,000MW pumped hydro option at Lake Onslow, and a 2.4TWh/1,200MW portfolio of alternate generation technologies including biomass and geothermal. These will be considered in the Detailed Business Case.|
|Jul 2023||Cabinet Ministers agreed to progress the portfolio approach along with the Lake Onslow option (as outlined in the Indicative Business Case) to the next stage of the project, with a preferred option to be identified by mid-2024.|