Skip to main content

Walpole Mini-Pumped Hydro

Walpole will be home to Western Australia’s first mini-pumped hydro microgrid, providing renewable energy to local residents and businesses.

Initiative progress

In Progress

Western Power has partnered with WA engineering firm Power Research and Development to develop an innovative renewable energy system which will significantly improve power reliability for homes and businesses in the area.

The 1.5 megawatt pumped hydro facility will use two dams to store 30 megawatt hours of energy. It will work by pumping water uphill from one dam to another when renewables are abundant and energy is cheap.

During periods of high demand, the water is released downhill through a generator to produce electricity and, in the event of an outage, it will supply power to the Walpole community.

Supported by the Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF), the microgrid will provide sustainable energy to over 500 local customers in the area and improve reliability by as much as 80 per cent.

Key Stats

500

local customers benefiting from more reliable energy.

80%

Up to 80 per cent more reliable energy provided by microgrid than current network.

30MWh

of energy stored by the dams.

$2M

contributed to project through the CEFF.

What is mini-pumped hydro?

Pumped hydro stores energy, by pumping water from a lower dam to a higher dam. When needed, the energy can be used by running the water to the lower dam through turbines to generate electricity.

The Walpole Mini-Pumped Hydro project is the first to implement this system using two farm dams. Watch the video below to find out how it works.

Pumping clean and reliable power into the grid

The mini-pumped hydro microgrid in Walpole will be connected to the main power network and work as part of a microgrid. As part of the microgrid project, two dams are being built in an area of around two hectares, making it the smallest edge-of-grid mini-pumped hydro system in the world.

It stores 30 megawatt hours and can supply up to 1.5 megawatts. This is enough to supply power to Walpole’s 500 local residents and businesses for up to two days.

The microgrid will help support future power needs in Walpole, such as charging electric vehicles and smoothing electricity flows of local renewables on the network.

Mini system with mighty advantages

There are many benefits to a mini-pumped hydro, including:

  • The small size reduces its environmental impact and allows it to be used in more locations.

  • Smaller power generation capability makes it easier to connect to the grid.

  • Provides locally generated renewable and reliable power.

To find out more about pumped hydro technology, go to:

Walpole Mini-Pumped Hydro

Play your part

Find out how you can take climate action and contribute to a stronger, low-carbon future.

Take action now
woman drinking from re-usable cup while charging electrical vehicle
Last updated: 

Related Initiatives

Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge and respect Western Australian Traditional Owners as the original custodians of Western Australia's land and waters, their unique ability to care for Country and deep spiritual connection to it. We honour and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging whose knowledge and wisdom has ensured the continuation of culture and traditional practices. We thank them for caring for Country for thousands of generations.

©Government of Western Australia 2024