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 Pompopslag waterkrachtcentrale infographic
Graphic shows principal of a pumped storage hydropower plant.


Pompopslag waterkrachtcentrale

By Duncan Mil

February 29, 2024 - Electricity is stored by using it to pump water from a low-lying reservoir to a higher one. When wind or solar power falls short, the water flows back down, spinning turbines to generate power.

Invented in the Alps in the late 19th century, Switzerland opened a pumped storage plant in 2022 called Nant de Drance that can deliver 900 megawatts for as long as 20 hours.

Nant de Drance stores surplus energy from wind, solar, and other clean sources by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper one 425 metres higher.

In Australia, one of two new plants already under construction will be the new record holder for energy, storing enough to supply 3 million people for one week. It’s called Snowy 2.0, and it’s opening in 2029.

“When people talk about batteries --these are little things,” says Andrew Blakers of Australian National University, a pumped storage evangelist.

“And little Australia, where the population is smaller than California, has a single pumped-hydro system under construction that will be bigger than all the utility batteries in the whole world combined,” Blakers says.

When China’s giant Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station near Beijing switches on its final two turbines this year, it will become the world’s largest. Fengning has 12 reversible pump turbines that can generate 3,600 megawatts and energy storage, with nearly 40,000 megawatt-hours in its upper reservoir.

PUBLISHED: 29/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News