Benefits and Applications of Modular Hydroelectric Pumped Storage

by Rick S. Koebbe, Pacific Turbine Systems Inc, San Francisco, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


Hydroelectric pumped storage is the only proven and most efficient technology available for energy storage. It is used by utilities to provide peak and intermediate power and to optimize overall system performance. Because of increased environmental and regulatory constraints, few acceptable sites, long schedules, and huge financial commitments, large conventional pumped storage plants, typically ranging in size from 500 MW to 200 MW, are now virtually impossible to build. As an alternative, small modular pumped storage, with project sizes ranging 25 MW to 200 MW, was created to overcome the difficulties of conventional projects. The modular approach involves standardizing the elements of a pumped storage plant by utilizing specialized siting techniques and optimizing design, equipment, and construction. Compared with conventional pumped storage, the modular design can reduce cost and expedite schedule; reduce environmental concerns and permitting obstacles; and expand applications of energy storage on a utility's system.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Waste storage | Water storage | Energy storage | Power plants | Pumping stations | Scheduling | Modular structures

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