- Demonstrate technical and economic feasibility of upgrading an existing fixed speed pumped hydro storage to variable speed technology.
- Enhance the functionality of IT systems to develop grid management solutions in line with real-time market systems
- Quantify the benefits of an EU-wide rollout of variable speed pumped hydro storage’s under alternative scenarios.
- Propose changes to the market and regulatory frameworks, to support appropriate business models for flexible energy storage in the EU.
- Develop and assess technology solutions allowing the upgrade of 75% of European pumped hydro storage to variable speed to obtain additional capacity for flexible load balancing
Pumped hydro storage power plants are currently the only economically-feasible means of storing large amounts of excess energy, effectively enabling power plants to balance supply and demand.
However, power regulation – the key to optimal grid stability – is only available in turbine mode. Adding variable speed technology to pumped hydro storage power plants increases plant efficiency and flexibility by allowing power regulation in both turbine and pumping mode. It also enables electric utilities to harness surplus power from intermittent sources like wind to fill pumped hydro storage plants’ upper reservoirs faster, storing the surplus energy for later use when demand is high or when no wind energy is available.
Coupled with improved IT systems, variable speed technology would facilitate grid management for better real-time balancing of supply and demand.
The eStorage project will demonstrate the feasibility of upgrading to variable speed technology, develop new IT systems for smarter grid management, put forward market and regulatory recommendations for energy storage, and develop scenarios for the rollout of energy storage across the EU.
The eStorage project brings benefits to all stakeholders of the electricity value chain.