Sydney, 27 February 2024: SMEC and Lombardi are pleased to announce their partnership in delivering Owners’ Engineer Services to Upper Hunter Hydro (UHH) who have this week been awarded a development agreement by WaterNSW to investigate two large pumped hydro projects capable of storing more than 1000 MW.

The agreement between UHH and WaterNSW allows UHH to investigate and design two Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) systems, with an opportunity for integrated wind energy, located on WaterNSW land at Glenbawn and Glennies Creek[1].


These projects are located within the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone which is a vital region in enabling the transition to renewable energy by utilising exiting energy infrastructure, resources, and the skilled workforce.


As Australia transitions to renewable energy sources, pumped storage hydropower has a crucial role to play in delivering on-demand, flexible power to the network.


SMEC’s Senior Executive Director, Water + Environment Bob Tilbury shared “We are incredibly pleased to be assisting such a well credentialed client with this energy transition project. Creating a secure renewable energy network is an urgent undertaking and SMEC brings our extensive technical expertise across renewable technologies to work alongside our partners at Lombardi.” SMEC, a member of the Surbana Jurong group, has a strong heritage in delivering renewable energy projects, including hydropower, solar and wind projects, across the globe.


Lombardi Engineering Australia – Managing Director Fabian Sommer expressed his enthusiasm, stating, ‘We are thrilled to have been chosen, alongside our partner SMEC, as trusted advisors to Upper Hunter Hydro. We are eager to leverage our extensive experience in Australian and international hydropower, dams, and underground projects to ensure the successful delivery of this project.’


Lombardi is a renowned international engineering consulting firm, specializing in hydropower and underground infrastructure. With a steadfast commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions, Lombardi has consistently played a pivotal role in supporting pumped-hydro project developers and contractors worldwide. By providing unparalleled expertise and services, Lombardi remains dedicated to driving the renewable energy transition forward.”


Director of UHH, Mr Malcolm Turnbull explained “Australia currently has all the tools to deliver a zero-emission energy reality. We don’t need to invent new technologies, we have all the resources we need; the one resource we don’t have is time. By deploying a mix of variable renewable energy including wind and solar, supported by pumped hydro storage it is possible to transition away from coal and meet our climate targets.”.


“We are excited to be moving forward with these critical projects, providing NSW with long duration energy storage, creating local jobs and lasting economic benefits to the Upper Hunter region.” Mr Turnbull said


[1] Upper Hunter Hydro Media Release – 26 February 2024: