Pumped Storage and Large Pumping Plants | Black & Veatch
Water Industries

Pumped Storage Hydropower

We support any project where pump/turbines or large pumps are involved. Our team has provided global pumped storage-related hydroelectric services for more than 25 years and brings a deep understanding of all aspects of pumped storage hydroelectric plants.

Pumped Storage Hydropower

As wind and solar energy production rises, it drives the need for large-scale energy storage. Pumped storage hydropower implemented by Black & Veatch is a safe, efficient, long-life, and proven solution that facilitates the shift to renewables by balancing generation with demand and supporting electric grid efficiency and stability.

With more than 25 years of experience on pumped-storage facilities around the world, Black & Veatch can fill any project role, including Engineer of Record and Owner’s Engineer, providing critical technical capabilities and full turnkey EPC.

With our leadership in the development of renewable energy projects, we are uniquely positioned and qualified to support the integration of pumped storage in a client’s overall power portfolio. We bring significant experience in:

  • Understanding today’s pump turbine equipment market and procurement approach
  • Transient analysis of the water conductor systems and hydraulic design of inlet/outlet structures
  • Geotechnical and dam engineering for the powerhouse and upper and lower reservoirs
  • Tunnel and underground structure engineering
  • Powerhouse design using 3D CADD to optimize space utilization in the powerhouse
  • Grid integration and interconnection
Pumped Storage Hydropower

Pumped Energy Storage

  • Balances generation and demand. Stores and dispatches energy as needed.
  • Improves transmission efficiency. Uses existing transmission lines more completely. 
  • Stabilizes the electric grid. Saves equipment from damage.
  • Shifts power supply over long periods. Reduces the need for curtailment.

Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro Project

Renewable energy sources are key to fueling our power grid. However, renewable sources such as solar and wind can be variable, and keeping the power supply in balance with demand is pivotal to keeping the electric grid stable and reliable.

With Absaroka Energy LLC in Montana, Black & Veatch is helping to plan a pumped storage scheme that will store and deliver renewable energy while balancing out the ebbs and flows of supply and demand. It’s a closed loop system that works like a rechargeable water battery, and its benefits can be significant.

Pumped Energy Storage: Vital to California’s Renewable Energy Future

California is a world leader in renewable energy. The state already sources nearly one-third of its power from renewables, mainly solar and wind. With recent legislation in place, renewable energy will increase to 60 percent or more by 2030. In tandem with renewable energy goals, the state is striving for 100 percent clean energy by 2045 to fight global warming.

The central purpose of this paper is to articulate the opportunities and challenges for large-scale energy storage in the evolving California grid. In particular, this paper examines the need for a decisive push to deploy pumped energy storage. The lead times for such projects are long. Having projects operationally starting in the mid 2020s requires clearer policy and market signals today.

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