Historical partnerships for a unique project.

May 2024

ZEN has recently announced the proposed project Western Sydney Pumped Hydro, transforming a cold old washery into a sustainable future.

WaterNSW has granted ZEN access to Lake Burragorang, Sydney’s largest water storage, to conduct numerous investigations to determine the viability of building a 1,000 megawatt pumped hydro project. To be allowed access, WaterNSW had to first be satisfied a pumped hydro project would not damage water quality.

Subject to planning and environmental approvals, as well as community support, we believe construction could commence in 2027. Western Sydney Pumped Hydro (WSPH) could then be supplying 500,000 homes and businesses with on-demand renewable electricity by 2031.

Large capacity renewable energy storage projects such as Western Sydney Pumped Hydro will significantly contribute to the security and reliability of Sydney’s and NSW’s energy supply, aligning with the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

An industry-leading $1 million per year Community Benefits Scheme will be created. Community consultation will also include co-design of aspects of the project.

Working together on a sustainable future.

Lake Burragorang, on Gundungarra Country, already serves Sydneysiders with clean drinking water, but soon could provide them with reliable clean energy as well.

Collaborations that have an impact

Ross Garnaut, a board member of ZEN, has championed pumped hydro technology as key to Australia’s renewable energy transition and identified the unique site for the proposed Western Sydney Pumped Hydro project. Few sites are better suited to such a project.

The former coal washery land at Nattai is large enough for an upper reservoir to be built, and is also cleared and rehabilitated land, minimising the environmental impacts of a pumped hydro project.

The project site sits 400m above Lake Burragorang on an escarpment of ancient sandstone, which makes the elevation ideal for an efficient project and provides confidence that necessary tunnelling to transfer water between reservoirs will occur in stable geology. And, Sydney’s electricity transmission system is close by – ZEN is seeking to connect to the grid through underground cables along existing road easements.

ZEN is partnering with WaterNSW, which has granted us access to the catchment area to conduct feasibility studies and with SADA Group, which has owned and rehabilitated the site.

It is early days for this proposed project, but with partnerships like these, we are laying the foundations for something special that everyone will benefit from.

Project’s Timeline

It’s very early days and an announcement about the project simply means the start of numerous studies, consultation, and design development.

All going well, ZEN expects construction could begin in 2027, subject to community and stakeholder support, investigations and approvals. The project could then come online in 2031.

We are committed to, and looking forward to, sharing the development process and shaping the project design and its benefits with locals, including Traditional Owners, Wollondilly Council, and other interested and important stakeholders.