HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide

Snapshots of Pumped-Storage Projects

Pumped-storage projects are being developed at a rapid pace. To illustrate this activity, HRW presents information about 13 pumped-storage projects under development. These projects – located in six countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe – will provide more than 12,000 mw of new capacity and represent an investment of US$11 billion.

Why is so much new pumped-storage development occurring? A review of the purposes of the 13 projects featured in this article provides insight.

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In most cases, developers report the new projects will be used to supply additional electricity during times when demand for power is highest.

Beyond provision of peaking power, developers cite several other important purposes. One of these is improvement of transmission grid stability and flexibility, including modulating grid frequency and phase and providing emergency reserves.

Another purpose – specifically cited for projects in Europe and Asia – is pumped storage’s ability to balance power production and regulate the network, in light of increased use of intermittent renewables, particularly wind. In Austria, for example, Vorarlberger Illwerke AG is building the 450-mw Kopswerk 2 project specifically to provide network regulation, owing to the more than 23,000 mw of wind being installed in neighboring Germany.


240-mw Alqueva 2 in Portugal; completion expected in 2012
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Alqueva 2

Owner: Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-estruturas do Alqueva, S.A. (EDIA)
Location: Alqueva, Portugal
River: Guadiana
Capacity: 240 mw
Scheduled On-Line Date: 2012
Estimated Development Cost: 167 million euro (US$211.2 million)
Description: Expansion of existing 259.2-mw Alqueva, which has been operating since 2003. Development involves construction of a second powerhouse 39.7 meters wide by 79.1 meters long. The powerhouse will contain two 120-mw units, with a maximum water intake of 400 cubic meters per second (cms).
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Hydro, EFACEC Engenharia S.A., SMM, Sociedade de Construcoes Soares da Costa SA, Zagope Construcoes e Engenharia SA
For Further Details:
www.edia.pt

Avce

Owner: Soöke Elektrarne Nova Gorica d.o.o.
Location: Primorska, Slovenia
River: Soca
Capacity: 185 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 426 gigawatt-hours (gwh)
Scheduled On-Line Date: July 2009
Estimated Development Cost: 120 million euro (US$151.8 million)
Description: The upper storage reservoir is situated in a natural depression in the vicinity of the Kanalski vrh settlement. Construction of embankments further increase the capacity of the natural basin, to 2.17 million cubic meters. The reservoir is rendered watertight by means of insulating asphalt lining. A 697-meter-long headrace tunnel takes water from the upper reservoir to an 862-meter-long open air penstock, then to an 190-meter-long underground vertical shaft that continues to the an 395-meter-long underground horizontal shaft and finally to a 120-meter-long underground inclined shaft that leads to the powerhouse shaft.
The existing reservoir of the Plave hydropower plant, Ajba, serves as the lower storage reservoir. The project has a maximum gross head of 521 meters. The powerhouse is situated on the left bank of the river Soèa, downstream from the village of Avèe. The powerhouse a variable speed reversible vertical Francis pump-turbine.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Consortium of Primorje d.d. and SCT d.d.; Consortium of Melco, Rudis, and Sumitomo; Gorenje d.d.; HSE Invest; Mikomi d.o.o.; Mitsubishi; Montavar metalna nova d.o.o.; Primorje d.d.
For Further Details:
www.seng.si

Baixo Sabor

Owner: Energias de Portugal S.A. (EDP)
Location: Bragança, Portugal
River: Sabor
Capacity: 171 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 230 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: 2013
Estimated Development Cost: 257 million euro (US$325.1 million) for civil construction
Description: Construction began in June 2008. The project includes two dams and two powerhouses.
Upstream, a 123-meter-high concrete arch dam will impound an upper reservoir with a gross capacity of 1.1 billion cubic meters of water. The effective head of the project is 93 meters, with a maximum water intake of 170 cms. The powerhouse will contain two reversible 70-mw pump-turbine generating units, with an expected annual electricity production of 181 gwh.
About 10 kilometers downstream, a second reservoir is impounded by a 45-meter-high roller-compacted-concrete (RCC) gravity dam. This reservoir has a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters. The effective head of this project is 29 meters, with a maximum water intake of 120 cms. The powerhouse for this location will contain two reversible 15.5-mw generating units, with an expected annual electricity production of 49 gwh.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Bento Pedroso Construcoes SA, LENA Engenharia e Construcoes SA
For Further Details:
www.edp.pt

Feldsee

Owner: Karntner Elektrizitats-Aktiengesellschaft (Kelag)
Location: Carinthia, Austria
Capacity: 70.4 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 15.7 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: Spring 2009
Estimated Development Cost: 50 million euro (US$63.3 million)
Description: Connects two existing reservoirs – Feldsee Lake as the upper reservoir and Wurten as the lower reservoir – via an underground waterway. The project is part of Kelag’s Fragrant power plant group, which consists of six pumped- storage projects and three run-of-river plants.
Kelag is investigating the possibility of building a second powerhouse to house a second 70-mw turbine.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Hydro Austria GmbH, VA Tech Hydro GmbH

Huizhou

Owner: Guangdong Pumped Storage Power Station Company, Limited
Location: Guangdong Province, China
River: Dongjiang
Capacity: 2,400 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 4,562 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: First unit operating by end of 2008, entire project on line in 2011
Estimated Development Cost: 8.134 billion yuan renminbi (US$1.19 billion)
Estimated Payback Period: 25 years
Description: Consists of upper and lower reservoirs and two underground powerhouses. The upper dam is a 56-meter-high RCC dam impounding a reservoir with a storage capacity of 35.7 million cubic meters. The lower dam is a 61-meter-high RCC dam impounding a reservoir with a capacity of 38.3 million cubic meters. Each powerhouse is 152 meters long by 21.5 meters wide by 49.4 meters long. These powerhouses will hold a total of eight turbine-generator units, each with a capacity of 300 mw.
The water delivery system for the project consists of intakes/outlets in the upper and lower reservoirs, delivery tunnels, surge shafts upstream and in the tailrace, and tailrace vent.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Power Hydraulique

Kannagawa

Owner: Tokyo Electric Power Company
Location: Nagano and Gumma prefectures, Japan
Rivers: Minamiaiki and Kannagawa
Capacity: 2,820 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 14,800 gwh (based on a 60 percent capacity factor)
Scheduled On-Line Date: Unit 1 began operating in December 2005, Unit 2 will begin operating in July 2010, and Units 3 through 6 will begin operating in 2015.
Estimated Development Cost: 484.5 billion yen (US$4.9 billion)
Estimated Payback Period: 50 years
Description: Construction began in May 1997. A zoned fill dam with an impervious core impounds an upper reservoir. This reservoir, in Japan’s eastern Nagano prefecture, has a volume of 7.2 million cubic meters. A 120-meter-high concrete gravity dam impounds the lower reservoir. This reservoir, in southwestern Gumma prefecture, has a volume of 720,000 cubic meters.
A 6-kilometer-long tunnel connects the two reservoirs. The effective head of the project is 653 meters, with a maximum water intake of 510 cms.
The underground powerhouse is 216 meters long by 33 meters wide by 52 meters high. It houses six turbine-generator units.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Hitachi, Tepsco, Toshiba
For Further Details: www.tepco.co.jp

Kopswerk 2

Owner: Vorarlberger Illwerke AG
Location: Vorarlberg, Austria
River: Ill
Capacity: 450 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 614 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: October 2008
Estimated Development Cost: 395 million euro (US$499.4 million)
Description: Adjoins the conventional 247-mw Kopswerk 1 project. Kopswerk 2 has a maximum head of 818 meters between the existing Kops Reservoir, the upper reservoir, and the existing balancing reservoir Rifa, the lower reservoir.
The powerhouse is in an underground cavern near the Rifa Reservoir. The cavern is 60.5 meters tall by 30.5 meters wide by 88 meters long. The powerhouse contains three 175-mw Pelton turbines attached to synchronous generators. The units have digital governors.
Kopswerk 2 is designed to be highly flexible. The units are designed to operate in “stand by” mode, in which the turbine and pump operate on the network simultaneously. In this mode, operation can be changed to either turbine or pump very quickly.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: ABB AG, Adams Schweig AG, Andritz VA Tech Hydro, Arge Drukstollen Kops II (Swietelsky Bau Tunnelbau GesmbH, Torno SA, and Torno S.p.A.), Arge Kavernenkrafthaus Kops II (Jager Bau GmbH, Beton und Monierbau, Zublin, and Alpine Mayreder), COWA Remscheid GmbH, Hans Kunz GmbH, VAM GmbH, VA Tech SAT GmbH & Co., Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation
For Further Details: Ingram, Elizabeth A., “Pumped-Storage Construction in Europe,” HRW, Volume 15, No. 1, March 2007, page 22.

Kyogoku

Owner: Hokkaido Electric Power Co.
Location: Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
Rivers: Pepenai and Bihinai, tributaries of the Shiribetsu River
Capacity: 600 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 525.6 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: October 2015
Estimated Development Cost: 135 billion yen (US$1.36 billion)
Estimated Payback Period: 34 years
Description: The project involves constructing a dam to form the upper reservoir on a plateau north of the town of Kyogoku and a lower dam (Kyogoku Dam) at the confluence of the Pepenai and Bihania rivers. The gross head between the upper and lower reservoirs formed by these dams is about 400 meters.
The project will feature three turbine-generator units with a total capacity of 600 mw.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Fuji Electric Systems Co. Ltd., Kajima Corporation, Kymagai Gumi Co. Ltd., Maeda Corporation, Taisei Corporation, Toshiba Corporation
For Further Details: www.hepco.co.jp

Lima

Owner: Eskom Holdings Ltd.
Location: Limpopo Province, South Africa
River: Steelpoort
Capacity: 1,470 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 2,900 gwh (based on a 23 percent load factor)
Scheduled On-Line Date: Third quarter of 2015
Estimated Development Cost: 10.2 billion rand (US$1.02 billion)
Estimated Payback Period: 30 years
Description: The project, formerly called Steelpoort, is being developed along the escarpment between the Nebo Plateau and the Steelpoort River Valley in Limpopo Province. It will feature two dams, one on the Nebo Plateau and the other on a small tributary of the Steelport River.
The upper dam is a 31-meter-tall, 3,750-meter-long concrete-faced rockfill dam. The lower dam is a 51-meter-tall, 1,600-meter-long zoned earthfill dam with an impervious core.
The underground powerhouse chamber is 174 meters long, 23.5 meters wide, and 47 meters tall. It will contain four 375-mw turbine-generator units.
Other infrastructure includes power intakes, two headrace and pressure tunnels, four penstocks, four draft tubes and tailrace tunnels, an outfall- isolating structure, access tunnels and construction adits, and cable and pipe galleries.
Eskom Holding designed the lower reservoir as an off-channel reservoir, thus reducing the overall waterway length for the project. Reducing the waterway length improves the hydraulic efficiency and lowers the capital cost of the development. Other benefits include a smaller lower dam (because sediment will not reduce the overall reservoir volume) and a smaller spillway (because there will be little to no flood discharge).
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: BKS-Palace Consortium, MWH
For Further Details:
www.eskom.co.za


480-mw Limberg II in Austria; completion expected in 2011
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Limberg II

Owner: Verbund - Austrian Hydro Power AG
Location: Salzburg, Austria
River: Kapruner Ache
Capacity: 480 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 860 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: Mid-2011
Estimated Development Cost: 365 million euro (US$461.4 million)
Estimated Payback Period: 55 years
Description: Part of the Glockner Kaprum scheme, near the 240-mw Kaprun project. Limberg II uses two existing reservoirs in the Kaprun Valley, Mooserboden and Wasserfallboden. Each reservoir has a capacity of about 80 million cubic meters. To connect the two reservoirs, a 5.5-kilometer-long power tunnel is being excavated using a tunnel boring machine.
The 62-meter-long underground powerhouse will contain two 240-mw reversible pump-turbines.
Verbund - Austrian Hydro Power is using reversible pump-turbines because of their simple and compact design. This will reduce costs for construction and maintenance.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Power Austria, Andritz VA Tech Hydro, ARGE PSW Limberg II, Jakko Poyry Group Oyj, Kunz, Litostroj Tovarna Turbin, Siemens AG Osterreich, VAM Gmbh, VA Tech Elin, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation
For Further Details:
www.verbund.at
Ingram, Elizabeth A., “Pumped-Storage Construction in Europe,” HRW, Volume 15, No. 1, March 2007, page 22.


1,000-mw Tehri Pumped-Storage in India; completion expected in 2013
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Tehri Pumped-Storage

Owner: Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited
Location: Uttarakhand State, India
River: Bhagirathi and Bhilangana
Capacity: 1,000 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 1,377 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: Mid-2013
Estimated Development Cost: US$368 million (2005 dollars)
Estimated Payback Period: 12 years
Description: Part of the Tehri Project Complex. This complex consists of 1,000-mw Tehri, already operating, and 400-mw Koteshwar, under construction. This complex features Tehri Dam, an earth and rockfill dam impounding the upper reservoir, and Koteshwar Dam, a concrete gravity dam impounding the lower reservoir. Tehri Dam is 260.5 meters high, with live storage of 2,615 million cubic meters. Koteshwar Dam is 97.5 meters high, with live storage of 35 million cubic meters.
Tehri Pumped-Storage will feature four 250-mw motor-generator units and variable speed pump-turbines. Associated structures include headrace tunnels, upstream and downstream surge shafts, penstocks, butterfly valve chamber, machine hall, tailrace tunnels, and outlet structures. The intakes and other associated structures – such as maintenance gate shafts, cable tunnel, and switchyard – were completed during construction of the Tehri project. Most of the construction adits for the pumped-storage project had been completed, which shortens the development timeline.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Electricite de France
For Further Details:
www.thdc.gov.in


1,200-mw Xilongchi in China; completion expected in August 2009
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Xilongchi

Owner: State Grid Xinyuan Company Limited
Location: Shanxi Province, China
River: Hutuo
Capacity: 1,200 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 1,805 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: First unit operating August 2008; entire project operating August 2009
Estimated Development Cost: 4.4 billion yuan renminbi (US$643.1 million)
Estimated Payback Period: 20 years
Description: Primary components include the upper reservoir, water transfer system, underground powerhouse, lower reservoir, surface switchyard, and auxiliary plant.
The powerhouse contains four single-stage mixed-flow reversible pump-turbine units.
The rockfill dam impounding the upper reservoir is 50 meters high. The reservoir features total storage of 4,689,700 cubic meters. The entire basin is lined with asphalt concrete facing.
The rockfill dam impounding the lower reservoir is 97 meters high. The reservoir features gross storage of 4,942,000 cubic meters. The rock slope of the banks of the basin is lined with concrete, and the bottom of the reservoir and the dam slope are lined with asphalt concrete.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Beijing Hydroelectrical and Investigation Design Institute, Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Toshiba Corporation
For Further Details:
www.sgxinyuan.com.cn
www.bjgd.cn

Zhanghewan

Owner: Hebei Zhanghewan Pumped Storage Co. Ltd.
Location: Hebei Province, China
River: Gantao
Capacity: 1,020 mw
Expected Annual Electricity Production: 1,675 gwh
Scheduled On-Line Date: Unit 1 began operating in May 2008, Unit 2 began operating in July 2008, and Units 3 and 4 to begin operating in 2009.
Estimated Development Cost: US$210 million
Estimated Payback Period: 25 years
Description: Consists of a new upper reservoir on Laoyemiao Mountain. This reservoir features a bituminous concrete facing. Two penstocks supply water for four 225-mw reversible pump-turbine units in an underground powerhouse.
The developer is building a 63-kilometer-long 500-kilovolt transmission line to connect the plant to the Hebei South Power Grid.
Service and Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Hydro, China Gezhouba Water & Power Co., Electricite de France, Taisei Corp., Voith Fuji Hydro

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