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5MW and above installed capacity

Pumped storage is the oldest kind of large-scale energy storage and works on a very simple principle – two reservoirs at different altitudes are required and when the water is released from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir, energy is created by the downflow, which is directed through a turbine and generator to create electricity. The water is then pumped back to the upper reservoir.  Pumped storage hydropower provides a dynamic response and offers critical back-up during periods of excess demand by maintaining grid stability.  However, pumped storage is a net user of power – but used in conjunction with other forms of renewable generation to pump the water back up to the top of the reservoir, this can help to resolve intermittency issues associated with other renewable technologies.  Despite current electricity market mechanisms challenges, such as the absence of reward for capacity, which has historically led to some mothballing, the role of pumped storage is becoming more critical looking forward.

The Ffestiniog Power Station (Picture Right) is a 360Mw pumped-storage hydro-electricity scheme near Ffestiniog, in Gwynedd, North Wales. The power station at the lower reservoir has four water turbines, which can generate 360Mw of electricity within 60 seconds of the need arising. The station, commissioned in 1963, was the first major pumped storage system in the UK.  The upper reservoir is Llyn Stwlan which can discharge 27 M3/s of water to the turbine generators at the power station on the bank of Tan-y-Grisiau reservoir.

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More detailed information can be found  in the the paper below or you can download the paper via the pdf icon and the bottom of this page.

The Benefits Of Pumped Storage Systems in the UK?

British Hydropower Association - pdf download


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