NZ Battery Project Cabinet decision-point delayed
Published: 12 December 2022
The findings of the NZ Battery Project’s Phase 1 feasibility studies, expected to be considered by Cabinet Ministers this month, will now be considered early in the new year, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Energy Projects and Programmes Manager Dr David Darby says.
The delay is not expected to materially impact the Project’s work programme.
The NZ Battery Project was established in late 2020 to investigate ways to address the dry year problem, which is when New Zealand’s hydro-electricity lakes are low and fossil fuels are used to cover the shortfall of electricity supply. Phase 1 of the Project has focused on investigating the feasibility of a pumped hydro scheme at Lake Onslow and at other locations around the country, as well as other possible renewable energy solutions.
“The Phase 1 feasibility studies are now complete,” Dr Darby said. “The next step is for Cabinet to consider the findings and recommendations and decide which option or options, if any, should proceed into the next phase of the project.
“The NZ Battery Project is a significant national project that will influence how New Zealand’s electricity market will operate for generations to come.
“We appreciate that this delay prolongs the uncertainty for some, particularly landowners affected by the Lake Onslow investigations and mana whenua. We expect there will be opportunities to accelerate our work in the first part of Phase 2 to minimise any impacts caused by this delay,” Dr Darby said.
The NZ Battery Project is divided into three phases and is expected to take several years. Phase 2 will focus on further investigations on the chosen option or options, developing a detailed business case and final investment decision. Following this, Cabinet will be asked to decide whether to continue into the final phase of constructing or implementing the preferred solution or solutions.
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