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Pumped-storage power plants - More modern than ever

Pumped-storage technology has been tried and tested for decades and is now perfectly suited to the aim of using more and more renewable energy sources for supplying power. That is because the inconsistent nature of power generated from renewable sources as well as the line losses during electricity transmission over long distances are causing more and more fluctuations in the power grid. With the decommissioning of ever more large-scale baseload power plants due to the phase-out of nuclear power and fossil fuel-fired generation, pumped-storage power plants are more important than ever.

They help to keep the voltage and frequency stable around the clock and provide extensive flexibility options, such as reserve energy or reactive power.

In the worst-case scenario, the power grid could collapse if there is too much deviation in the frequency and/or voltage. Thanks to their black-start capability, pumped-storage power plants like Wehr power plant are then among the key hubs that can re-establish the power grid following a blackout.

Energy transition

Being able to store electricity in large quantities and generate it within seconds when needed is now more important than ever. The sun and the wind have long been playing their part in generating electricity in Germany and are producing an ever increasing share. Yet these generation sources fluctuate depending on the weather and are unreliable. Pumped-storage power plants come into play when too much electricity overloads the grid or a lack of electricity threatens the supply. They work within seconds, produce zero emissions and generate outputs that rank them among the best of all available storage technologies.

How pumped-storage power plants work

Pumped-storage plants consist of an upper and lower basin. Between them are power plants, which pump water uphill if there is excess electricity and allow it to flow down again through turbines to generate electricity when power is needed. They are precisely tailored to meet the needs of the grid at all times. As such, they help to secure the supply – cleanly, effectively and reliably.

Schluchseewerk AG

With its five pumped-storage power plants, Schluchseewerk AG is one of Germany’s largest suppliers and leading experts. As a partner to its shareholders, it oversees the safe and reliable operation of all its facilities, thereby helping to stabilise the power grid and playing its part in safeguarding the energy supply for today and tomorrow. Schluchseewerk – we are driven by water!

Maximum benefit and almost unlimited service life: pumped storage has everything going for it!

  • Energy intake, energy storage and energy output
  • Frequency stability beneficial to the grid
  • Voltage stability beneficial to the grid
  • An integral part of re-establishing the grid (black-start capability)

Pumped-storage power plants – unrivalled advantages:

  • Improved integration of renewable energy sources
  • They mitigate climate change and help to guarantee security of supply
  • Highly efficient with the best efficiency factors among large-scale storage systems
  • Emission-free operation
  • Fast reaction times
  • Positive and negative reserve energy
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