Pumped storage hydropower

Pumped storage hydropower is resurging in popularity across the globe as governments and utilities seek to ensure grid stability in markets with increasing penetration of renewables.

Around the world, pumped storage hydropower projects make up the vast majority of grid energy storage and have traditionally been used by energy utilities to supply additional power to a grid during times of highest demand.

The main issue facing developers trying to prove the viability of a new pumped storage project is that a sufficient price differential is required to make a return on capital invested, while paying for the pumping and accounting for the efficiency losses.

As generation from renewable sources increases, energy markets are changing to the point where electricity prices during the day can be very low and peak power prices are being shifted to later in the day when the sun sets and the wind drops. Pumped storage projects can take advantage of this change in market conditions by pumping when power prices are low, and generating using stored water when prices are at their peak.

For successful pumped storage hydro projects, developers need to identify a viable site, achieve a technically and commercially feasible design, and make the most of the economics of the energy market.

Entura has worked with various project developers in Australia to assist them with choosing the right site through to developing technical feasibility studies. Partnering with PowerChina Huadong, one of the world leaders in pumped storage hydro development, construction and operation, as well as various electromechanical equipment suppliers, we can develop innovative design solutions for your next project.

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