Storing significant amounts of energy on demand is one of the major challenges of the energy revolution. Pumped storage power plants can make a major contribution to this: As all-rounders in the energy industry, they can store large quantities of energy and feed it back into the grid at short notice if required. They may also provide other important network services. That is why we are planning to expand our traditional Rudolf-Fettweis Plant.
Pumped storage power plants are all-rounders in the energy industry. On one hand, they can store energy. On the other hand, they are connected to the grid as electricity producers within a few seconds. In this way, they help to cover energy requirements when other supply capacities are not sufficient and provide important emergency reserves in the event of power plant outages.
What pumped storage power plants can do
They store large quantities of electricity like a gigantic battery.
They deliver electricity to the market on demand.
They compensate for fluctuations in the power grid.
They compensate for fluctuations in the supply of sun or wind.
They are black-start ready – in other words: They quickly rebuild the power grid in emergencies.
Water reaches its destination in the machine house via pipelines
Functionality of a storage power plant using the example of a shaft power plant
How a pumped storage power plant works
Storing significant amounts of energy on demand is one of the major challenges faced by energy producers. Pumped storage power plants are still the only really effective and large-scale option for this. If electrical energy is required, the water accumulated in an upper basin flows onto the turbines of the turbine house in the valley. The generator is driven by the turbines. If there is too much energy in the grid, for example during a strong wind phase or because of high feeds from photovoltaic systems, the generators “turn” into electric motors and drive the pumps. With help of these, the water from the lower basin reaches the upper reservoir again. The water is now once again available for power generation. This ability of pumped storage power plants to both absorb and release energy helps to better balance power generation and demand. This makes pumped storage power plants extremely valuable when it comes to balancing rapidly fluctuating electricity production from wind and sun (with fluctuations in electricity consumption) and keeping the grid stable.