Digital 3D model of the Nant de Drance power turbines

Pumped Storage Power Plants

Leading the way in pumped storage energy

AFRY has proven its competence as one of the sector leaders, having applied its engineering expertise to more than 60 PSP projects worldwide. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of all new developments in pumped storage technology.

3D digital model of underground placement of pumped storage power plant

Besides ensuring control and peak energy, storage and pumped storage power plants serve to improve flood protection, provide additional irrigation or ensure a steady supply of drinking water. Since storage power plants are mostly located in remote mountain areas, the planning and completion of the extremely complex structures requires specialists with specific knowledge and experience.

In the development of hydraulic and structural designs of different dam types, power plants and their their facilities comprising above or below ground control rooms and waterways, our experts have been significantly involved for decades, in the critical planning and implementation work for storage power plants in Central Europe and abroad.

History of pumped storage

The technological invention and development of reversible pump turbines in the 1930s led to significant growth in pumped storage plants, although they had been in existence from the beginning of the past century. More recent innovations, including variable speed units that allow capacity to be adjusted during the pumping mode, have further improved efficiencies and, today, installed capacity amounts to around 140 GW.

The leading edge

We have been involved in the design of pumped storage plants since the 1960s with two projects, the 240 MW Hongrin-Léman PSP in Switzerland, completed in 1971 and the 231 MW Rosshag PSP in Austria, completed in 1972. Since then AFRY has proven its competence as one of the sector leaders, having applied its engineering expertise to more than 60 PSP projects worldwide. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of all new developments in pumped storage technology. With profound experience in site evaluation, concept and feasibility studies, design, construction management of PSPP, clients can rely on our expert services. We support IPPs, investors and utilities alike in all phases of a PSPP project. We act as lender and owner’s engineer to ensure on time, on budget and quality project deliveries to minimize risks and increase profitability.

Outlook

Pumped storage is currently the only energy technology capable of storing electricity on a large scale and in a cost effective and sustainable way, while also providing flexible supply to grids with a high share of variable renewables. Thus, capacities are expected to grow substantially to and to 700 GW by 2050. This will lead to significant increases in its share of national grids.

View inside powerhouse from ceiling crane level

Long term experience in PSPP with all technologies

Our clients benefit from our extensive experience and expertise covering the entire life cycle of a PSPP. Since 1895, we have been a trusted advisor for public and private energy companies, investors, energy-intensive industries, public authorities, governments and financial institutions e.g. ADB, WB, EBRD, KfW, and SECO as well as contractors in large-scale hydropower projects. With modern technologies such as BIM, combined with know-how and experience of the latest PSPP, we have an outstanding track record in hydro power. We can provide the full range of services from the initial concept design, feasibility study, basic design and tender documents to detailed design, site supervision and commissioning of the plant.

Ernst Zeller

BU Manager Hydropower Austria

Linda Pålsson

Head of BA Hydro, Energy Division