Planning and approvals process

EnergyAustralia is currently investigating the feasibility of a pumped hydro energy storage project on land and waterways it owns near Lithgow, in NSW, with technical and environmental studies underway.

If the project progresses, we expect roughly 2 years for its design and development and then 3 to 4 years for its construction, meaning 2029 would be the earliest we could see the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project facility in full operation.

Frame 7 2023 08 31 235912 qrpu
A state significant development

The New South Wales Government considers the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project to be a State Significant Development reflecting its complexity, economic value, and potential impacts.

This means the project will be subject to rigorous assessment by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. This will include an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the project’s potential environmental and cultural heritage impacts, along with extensive community consultation.

Planning, approvals and timing

Below is the current outline of the project’s potential timings, which are subject to movement.

Over the coming 18 months, we look to create many opportunities for the local community, Traditional Owners, and any interested stakeholders to engage with us about the project, so we can hear your views, and receive your feedback.

Feasibility (Current)
February 2023 – early 2024

Geotechnical drilling investigations are needed to understand the underlying geology of the site and the first step to determine if the site is suitable for construction as well as to inform the engineering design.

The geotechnical studies are just one part of the larger feasibility study phase that aims to better understand how a pumped hydro project can be developed safely and efficiently, and to assess impacts on the surrounding environment and community with the aim of ensuring the project provides a positive outcome for the community.

Planning and Development
July 2023 – June 2024
Project Exhibition and Government Approvals
July 2024 – 2025
Final decision
Mid 2025
2025 – 2029
Operations Commence
Homepage ll
Environmental Impact Statement

Technical and environmental studies have begun for the proposed Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project.

These studies will form the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and follow the release in August 2023 of the NSW Government’s Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). SEARs details the things that must be included in the EIS.

Over the next 12 months, experts will look at the potential impacts of the project along with mitigation measures. They will analyse biodiversity, aquatic ecology, Aboriginal heritage, social impact, water and climate effects, and more.

Community engagement will continue to be an essential part of the project and EnergyAustralia will share the EIS, which is expected to be ready in mid-2024, and seek community input.

Frame 7 2023 08 31 235339 ehbw
The Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project

After completion, the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project would operate for up to 80 years, generating 335 MW of clean energy for 8 hours at a time – offering reliable and affordable energy to support homes and business in the Central West region and across the state, whilst playing a vital and integral part in Australia’s clean energy transformation.

Through the project’s development and design, EnergyAustralia is committed to maintaining regular consultation with the local community to creating a range of new community benefits, and ensuring Lake Lyell can be maintained as an area for recreation.

Stay up to date with the Lake Lyell Pumped Hydro Project with news and updates.
We treat your personal data with care. By signing up you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy.