Monday, October 18, 2021

Consortium charged with battery project

A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced.

“This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted engineering, environmental planning and geotechnical feasibility investigation for Lake Onslow,” said Dr Woods.

The consortium, Te Rōpū Matatau, will be led by engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald New Zealand, with engineering consultancy firm GHD, and environmental planning and design consultancy Boffa Miskell.

“The first part of this investigation will look at the design and environmental effects as well as determining the geotechnical fieldwork programme,” the Minister said.

The second part will refine the design, informed by fieldwork investigations of key geotechnical aspects, including the regional geology, rock properties, fault lines and the availability of rock and earth fill at location for potential dam construction. The environmental planning work will look at consenting options and what further work may be needed to assess the environmental effects.

“The fieldwork investigations are likely to include drilling shallow and deep boreholes to better understand the underlying geology, the best route for a tunnel and the best location for a potential underground powerhouse. “This work, along with the environmental and cultural investigations already underway, will give a better picture of the feasibility and costs of the Lake Onslow storage scheme.”

“I want to thank mana whenua and the local community, particularly the landowners around Lake Onslow for their patience as we look to conduct investigations and acknowledge the challenging and unique situation they are in. While this project has the potential to benefit all of New Zealand, the project team will continue working with and supporting these groups,” Dr Woods said.

For more information, visit www.mbie.govt.nz/nzbattery.

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