French engineering company Alstom Hydro has been awarded a contract worth 178 million euros (US$263 million) to supply four 250-MW variable-speed pump turbine and motor generator units for a pumped-storage project in eastern Switzerland.
The contract for the 1,000-MW project was awarded by Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern AG, a joint venture of Axpo AG and the canton of Glarus. Under the contract, Alstom will provide design, engineering, manufacturing, installation, testing, commissioning and training services. The equipment will be installed in the new Limmern facility, which is under construction in the canton of Glarus.
Earlier this year, Alstom won a contract to provide variable-speed pumped-storage equipment to the 628-MW Nant de Drance project near Finhaut, Switzerland. That contract included four 157-MW vertical Francis reversible turbines, four 170-megavolt-ampere vertical asynchronous motor-generators and other key equipment. (HydroWorld 5/5/09)
“Pumped storage can help Europe meet its target of producing 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020,” said Alstom Power President Philippe Joubert. “This technology allows utilities to store excess energy produced by intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, making it a powerful tool for balancing resources across the grid.”
Pumped-storage projects work like this: When demand for power is low, excess electricity is used to pump water into a higher reservoir. When demand is high, the water is released through a hydroelectric turbine, generating electricity that can be sold at a higher price.