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Energy Storage

Largest Pumped-Hydro Facility In World Turns On In China

Pumped hydro storage is an unsung hero of the renewable energy world. It provides super low-cost, low-emission energy storage in locations around the world. The thing is that it’s not really a high-growth field of the new energy world. That said, China just made a big splash in pumped hydro storage.

Apparently, the State Grid Corporation of China, the largest grid operator and power utility in China (a state-owned entity of course), has just commissioned the largest pumped-hydro facility in the world. It’s a 3.6-gigawatt system in the Hebei province. The name of the facility is the Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station. It is expected to provide 6612 gigawatt-hours of energy storage a year (~18 GWh/day).

Image courtesy of State Grid Corp of China

In the grand scheme of things, despite being the largest pumped-hydro plant in the world, the Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station is rather small. China plans to have 62 gigawatts (GW) of pumped-hydro storage by 2025, and 120 GW by 2030! It is at 30.3 GW right now, based on data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Back to the Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station: this required $1.87 billion in investment, was built in two 1.8 GW phases, and “consists of 12 reversible pump generating sets with a capacity of 300MW each,” as pv-magazine summarizes.

I expect we’ll see some more major announcements about pumped-hydro facilities in China this year, and perhaps even a new world record for largest pumped-hydro facility.

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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