Pumped storage: The backbone for intermittent renewable energy

Voith Hydro pump used in Kopswerk II (Image credit: Voith Hydro)

Renewable energy is often intermittent. But pumped storage changes that by pumping water into reservoirs to create power when needed.

Kopswerk II in Austria shows how it’s done.

Within seconds, it can feed up to 525 MW into the grid to serve peak load demand, or absorb up to 450 MW of surplus energy form the grid to store during low demand phases.

It has two sets of pumps and turbines, and not reversible pump-turbines. Thus, it can pump and create energy at the same time.


  • detroitbeancounter

    Ludington, Michigan has had one of these facilities for years, pumping water from Lake Michigan. It has been contentious among environmental groups because of the massive numbers of fish killed by the pumps. Millions of dollars have been spent over the years in attempts to mitigate the fish kill problems.

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