The study of the New Zealand Battery Project will be carried out by the Te Rōpū Matatau consortium, which will be led by Mott MacDonald New Zealand and will also include engineering consultancy GHD and environmental planning and design consultancy Boffa Miskell.
Minister of energy and resources Megan Woods said: “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted engineering, environmental planning and geotechnical feasibility investigation for Lake Onslow. The first part of this investigation will look at the design and environmental effects as well as determining the geotechnical fieldwork programme.
“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 under way, will give a better picture of the feasibility and costs of the Lake Onslow storage scheme.”