A second life for underground coal mines?

Who would have thought that underground coal mines no longer in use could still provide an energy resource?

That is just what Centennial Coal is investigating, turning an old coal mine into a hydro energy site and a source of renewable energy.

The project is a study in conjunction with ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) and the New South Wales Government.

Situated at Lake Macquarie the pilot trial will transform a mothballed underground coal mine to provide large scale energy storage and grid connection as a source of reliable energy to power households and businesses across NSW.

The chosen site has a number of features that make it suitable for an underground pumped hydro project for this kind. A proximity to existing infrastructure, underground voids with enough volume  to house large scale energy storage and dispatchable generation in the future.

If successful, this could lead to the re-purposing of other similar sites and take advantage of those features to bring more clean energy online and deliver a reliable future power source.