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The Highbury Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) will be located approximately 13km North East of Adelaide on the 350ha of an unused quarry site. It will have the capacity to store 1350MWh of energy and to generate up to 300MW for 4.5 hours. When the demand for electricity is high and supply is scarce, water would be released to generate electricity.

Project Details

The project involves the construction of pumped hydro energy storage facility, at the decommissioned Highbury quarry site 13 kilometres north east of the City of Adelaide. The pumped hydro facility would consist of an upper lake, which will be the existing water-filled former dolomite quarry, a lower lake along the Halls Road edge of the site, two penstock pipes connecting the lakes and a powerhouse building on the eastern shore of the lower lake.

The project would substantially improve the existing state of the 350ha unused Highbury quarry site which is owned by Holcim Australia, (formerly Readymix) and there is potential to include public recreational facilities in the design, in particular associated with the lower lake area.

Project benefits

The Highbury PHES would be complementary to wind and solar farms, enabling renewable energy to be stored for use at time of high demand.  Hydro power is a renewable form of generation and the project does not involve the use of fossil fuels.   The project would also provide a the grid with quick starting back up electricity that will support the continued deployment of renewable generation sources in South Australia.

The Highbury PHES brings many direct opportunities for employment to the area during both the construction phase and ongoing operations once it is operational.  During construction the workforce would average approximately 200 people, peaking at 300 people during the 24 - 36 month  construction period, with around three full time employees once operational.  The project will involve significant earth moving and civil structural works.  Local labour and suppliers will be given full, fair and reasonable opportunity to participate.

Community engagement & planning application

Three open house opportunities have been held in February and March 2018 to learn more about the project, ask questions and give the community an opportunity to make suggestions that will help the project move ahead.

Tilt Renewables will hold public open day sessions prior to submitting the planning application for the project with the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP).

In the meantime, please contact us directly with any feedback, if you have any concerns, or would like further information on the project. 

Tilt Renewables is committed to providing benefits to the community. Subject to consultation, the project proposes to use some of the area around the lower lake to provide community recreational facilities such as lawn areas, BBQs, picnic tables etc. Additionally, it is likely this area will also become a destination for the River Torrens – Linear Park bike path which currently ends on the southern edge of the quarry site. 

Bikeways and walking paths could also feature as part of the site’s rehabilitation connecting  the site to the adjacent Anstey Hill Conservation Park, Blackhill Conservation Park, River Torrens Linear Park and the Highbury Aqueduct Reserve.

In constructing the project Tilt Renewables aims to transform the decommissioned quarry into a visually appealing lake surrounded by lawn and bushland areas. The pumped hydro powerhouse will be located on the eastern shore of the lower lake and would be designed to complement the local area and environment. The lower lake and the powerhouse building will be more visible, but below the protected area known as the ‘Hills Face Zone”, when looking from the east. The pipelines connecting the upper and lower lakes would follow the route of the existing quarry haul road and therefore would be largely concealed behind the hills and screened by existing vegetation. It is anticipated that the upper lake area, the small saddle dam and intake tower structure would be mostly obscured by hills, as the area is now. These two features would mainly be visible when looking down from the cliffs at the northern end of the site. 

Those who wish to register interest in providing local goods or services for the Project are encouraged to submit their details via email to [email protected] with “Highbury Suppliers” in the subject.  As we get closer to construction a Goods & Services Register will be added to this site.  All expressions of interest will be forwarded to the final selected contractors prior to construction.

News & updates

Visit this page regularly to ensure you receive all news updates and promotional material related to the Highbury Pumped Hydro Electricity Storage Project.

Newsletters are an important part of Tilt Renewables’s community engagement and will increase in frequency as the Project develops.