2018 Pumped Storage Report

The National Hydropower Association has released their 2018 Pumped Storage Report.  In it they discuss what they have identified as the best opportunities for pumped storage applications in generation as well as transmission projects.  Notably, it’s ability to increase our renewable energy capacity without sacrificing stability.  Also, there is comparison between pumped storage technology versus “short term” storage technologies such as batteries. While batteries have improved tremendously over recent years, their limited capacity and lifespan still prohibit them from providing  grid-level capacity.  The following excerpt summarizes some key points of the article:







Long-life, long-duration, proven technologies such

as PSH are essential tools that provide valuable

grid support services including the ability to:

• Energy time-shift arbitrage and energy supply capacity
• Provide grid ancillary services like frequency
regulation, grid stability and reserves for reliability

• Reduce renewable energy curtailment
• Store for use later rather than shutting
off during times when not needed
• Avoid paying for curtailed energy (take or pay contracts)
• Increase capture of renewable over-generation
• Avoid need to buy more renewables to compensate for curtailment and need to meet RPS mandates.
Such services are crucial to energy
grid reliability and facilitate:
• Reduced system operating costs
• Less cycling and fuel costs (coal and gas)
• Ramp up and down quickly to accommodate over-generation
• Transmission upgrade deferral
• Reduced Transmission Congestion
• Renewables generated in the east
and being delivered west
• Flexibility to be able to Adapt to Market Changes
• Flexibility to change operating profile
if the market changes:
• Flexibility to change from day-ahead to hour ahead
or real-time ramp up and down to accommodate
needs of the CAISO for intra-hour balancing.

For those interested in learning more about the benefits and opportunities of pumped storage, you can access the entire article at the link below: