The NZ Battery Project is focussed on how best to address Aotearoa New Zealand's 'dry year problem' where the country's existing hydroelectric power catchments sometimes don't receive enough rainfall or snowmelt. When hydro lake levels run low, some form of non-fossil fuel backup is needed.
Pumped hydro at Central Otago's Lake Onslow is one possible solution, but non-hydro options such as bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, compressed / liquid air and flow batteries are also being explored.
Under the terms of this new contract, a project team from WSP will investigate the technical and commercial feasibility of these alternative technologies and how viable it may be to integrate them into New Zealand’s electricity market. The WSP project team will also look at the social, cultural and environmental feasibility of each option.
WSP Director Power Rebecca Tjaberings says the outputs of the feasibility study will help the NZ Battery project team understand how alternative energy storage types stack up in the long term against pumped hydro or other hydro options.
“Renewable technologies represent an important low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels in all applications, including for electricity storage.
"The study is firmly aligned with Aotearoa's goal of achieving long term energy security in a renewable future, as well as WSP's own commitment to supporting technological and policy solutions that will help with that transition."
"We're delighted to be supporting the NZ Battery project team with this important feasibility study and are looking forward to providing world-class expertise on the technical potential for managing the country's dry year risk.”
For more information about the NZ Battery Project, visit the MBIE website.