UPC acquires 250MW Baroota pumped hydro in SA

UPC Renewables and its Philippines partner AC Renewables have bought a majority stake in the 250MW Baroota pumped hydro project in South Australia – a vital component of the state’s shift to “net 100 per cent” renewables.

The deal to buy the majority stake from Rise Renewables includes the neighbouring 300MW Bridle Track solar farm, which will likely be built in stages.

The new project partners say they intend to accelerate the development of  Baroota, which was one of 12 projects short-listed by the federal government in its Underwriting New Generation Investment scheme.

One of the first priorities will be to lock in the funding for the project, with plans to reach financial close by the end of the year.

The $400 million Baroota pumped hydro project is located in the state’s mid north, next to the Bungama-Davenport transmission line.

It will use the existing reservoir as its lower pond, with an upper reservoir to be built, along with penstock, pipeline and power station.

“We’re very excited about this because it (the storage project) allows us to develop our other projects around Australia,” UPC Renewables CEO Anton Rohner told RenewEconomy.

UPC is also involved in the Robbins Island wind project in Tasmania, a 720MW solar project near Uralla in the New England region of NSW, and also has a 160MW solar project in Victoria in the pipeline.