Hydroelectric pumped storage is truly beneficial

Published on Thursday, 24 April 2014

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity power plants account for 2.5 percent of global installed energy capacity and 99 percent of total storage facility capacity. This is the most competitive and reliable way of storing electricity, enabling an efficient use of energy surplus and the returning of large amounts of energy back onto the grid.

Enel is one of Europe's most experienced utilities working in pumped-storage hydroelectricity, with a total capacity of 9.6 gigawatts across 28 plants working plants in Italy, Slovakia and Spain that include four large facilities in Italy that each have capacity exceeding 1GW.

pumped-storage hydropower plant uses excess electricity produced at night or when there is a lower level of demand to fill a reservoir that provides electricity as and when required. The average yield is about 70 percent or slightly higher, meaning that for every 10 kilowatt-hours used for storage, 7kWh is produced during generation.

These are important plants for grid management, because they can be put into service in a very short time in order to tackle load variations on the grid, are extremely reliable and are not affected by hydrological factors, as they mostly work within a closed cycle.

A number of companies with the Enel Group – Enel Produzione, Enel GreenPower, Hydro Dolomiti, SE Hydropower, Endesa and Slovenské elektrárne – will take part in the International Dam Symposium, which this year will take place between 10-12 April and will see discussion of technical, economic and environmental issues regarding dams, reservoirs and power plants.