Estimating Underground Power Station Costs

by Robert N. Reid, Civ. Engr.; Utah Projects Office, Planning Div., U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Provo, Utah,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 1-10

Document Type: Journal Paper


Planners involved in evaluating pumped-storage alternatives found the capital cost of the underground powerstation directly related to the installed capacity. Estimates for three underground powerplant sizes are tabulated and discussed. These sizes are 450MW, 800MW, and 2100MW each with 1652 feet (504 m.) of head. Costs are given for various types of powerplant machinery including reversible pump-turbines, generator-motors, transformers, electrical switchgear, and powerplant accessories. The costs are being used in planning several pumped-storage complex systems in the Rocky Mountain region. Some discussion is included as to why the designers favored an underground site and why these costs would be applicable to planning other pumped-storage systems.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Waste storage | Underground structures | Assets | Electrical equipment | Pumps | Electric power | Mountains | Rocky Mountains

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