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If you need help or have a question, we’re here for you. Check out some of our most frequently asked questions or send us a message below.

Some of the most frequently asked questions

The proposed Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project will be located near Lithgow, on the Lake Lyell side of Mount Walker, on land owned by EnergyAustralia.

The project will use and return water from the existing Lake Lyell reservoir, originally built to support surrounding power stations. An upper reservoir would be built behind the southern ridge of nearby Mount Walker. The location will not be visible from the majority of Lithgow, Bowenfels, South Bowenfels and Hillcrest Estate.

New South Wales has committed to tackling climate change with net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As part of this, four of NSW’s five remaining coal-fired plants will close between 2023 and 2035. These will be replaced by solar and wind generation, but this is only part of the answer. We also need energy when there is no sun or wind, or when demand for energy is high. This is where energy storage systems, such as grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro come in.

Big batteries have their benefits, but they generally store enough energy for only around four hours of electricity. Pumped hydro, on the other hand, provides much longer duration storage. Our proposed Lake Lyell project, for example, would power around 150,000 homes for eight hours. Batteries also have a limited lifespan, while it’s anticipated that Lake Lyell project would operate for 80 years.

Projects like the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro project are an important part of our shift to a clean energy future.

The Lake Lyell project will be capable of producing up to 335 megawatts of clean energy, enough energy to power over 150,000 households for up to eight hours.

Based on a POE10 demand of 1.97kW for EnergyAustralia’s portfolio of NSW residential customers at 335MW of generation.

The project will be subject to detailed assessment by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. It will also need to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) to assess its potential environmental, economic, social and cultural heritage impacts. The EIS will be put on public display and the community will have a chance to read it and provide feedback.

If the project continues to look promising, design and development work typically takes around two years and construction around three to four years. That means the earliest a pumped hydro facility at Lake Lyell could be operating is 2029.

EnergyAustralia is actively talking to the community about the project, gathering their feedback and listening to their questions and concerns. This is genuine consultation with the input being used in the project design and planning.

Consultation with the local Aboriginal community – including site visits – will also continue to ensure we capture the views and expectations of Traditional Owners.

Please contact us at to let us know your thoughts on the project, or if you have any questions.

EnergyAustralia has started an extensive, year-long technical and environmental study program for the project. This will inform assessments that will be needed under the NSW Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) with the results included in the EIS. As part of the studies, we’ll be assessing a wide range of issues that may be affected by the project, such as noise, air quality, biodiversity, water resources, heritage, and socio-economic impacts.

The project would involve building an upper reservoir on land owned by EnergyAustralia on Mount Walker. We listened to the community’s concerns about the project’s visual impact, and in response have changed the location of the upper reservoir. This means the reservoir will now not be seen from the majority of Lithgow. And it will also be either not visible or significantly less visible from Bowenfels, South Bowenfels and Hillcrest Estate.

Some properties on Sir Thomas Mitchell Drive and on the Rydal side of Lake Lyell will continue to see the upper reservoir and we will keep working with those landowners.

While Lake Lyell is a man-made body of water created to provide water to nearby power stations, EnergyAustralia understands that Lake Lyell has an important recreational and visual value to the community. We intend to create a project that can exist alongside lake users. This means activities like picnicking, camping, boating and fishing will continue.

Keep up to date on the project at this website and by liking our Facebook page ‘Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project’. We will also be sending out regular communications, including newsletters. You can sign up to receive these at the bottom of this page. We will also have a dedicated project drop-in centre on Main Street in Lithgow by December 2023.

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