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Bendigo seeks “new gold rush” through renewable energy, using hydropower in old mines

Bendigo seeks “new gold rush” through renewable energy, using hydropower in old mines
December 01
12:40 2017

Photo by Sirbatch  – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia.

A maze of abandoned gold mines beneath the city of Bendigo is about to power Victoria’s modern economy. The Victorian government is backing a plan to convert the Central Deborah Gold Mine into a pumped hydro site. The project will use surplus solar power to pump contaminated groundwater at the site to an underground reservoir at a higher elevation.

“When there’s a lack of power or a higher demand you run it back down the mines through turbines and utilize that energy so you can cover your peak times with a constant power supply,” Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) volunteer Ken Mann explained.

A $150,000 pre-feasibility study is currently underway. The study is being funded by grants from the state government and the City of Greater Bendigo. The early estimates are promising, according to Benjamin White of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

“There’s the potential here that this pumped hydro system in Bendigo could provide over 40 megawatt hours of storage” or enough to power 3,000 homes, Mr. White said.

Read the full article at ABC News.



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Kate Dougherty

Kate Dougherty

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