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Hydro storage floated as electricity grid stabiliser


Source: The Age 04/03/2017

The Canberra region has suitable sites to store enough hydro energy to stabilise the entire Australian electricity grid, according to the lead researcher of a new study.

Professor Andrew Blakers from ANU said pumped hydro storage could be used to help build a secure and cheap grid with 100 per cent renewable energy.

The research paper describes a "looming necessity" to replace ageing coal-fired power stations and says hydro storage can offer the same "ancillary benefits" as fossil fuels by coping with periods of poor solar and wind availability and managing short-term supply fluctuations.

Unlike conventional "on-river" hydro power, the paper says off-river [closed loop] storage requires pairs of hectare-scale reservoirs, "rather like oversized farm dams", located away from rivers in steep country outside national parks.

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