Grid Reliability, Resilience, & Integration (HydroWIRES)

Project Name: Value and Role of Pumped Storage Hydro Under High Variable Renewables

Project Team: General Electric

Lead Recipient Location: Niskayuna, New York

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To fill knowledge gaps on the full value and capabilities of pumped storage hydropower (PSH), a General Electric team studied the value and role of PSH under high variable renewables (or electricity grids with increased wind and solar resources). The team found that PSH could help bring more renewables online faster and cheaper. They also determined that the addition of just one 4-gigawatt-hour PSH facility in California would reduce electricity production costs by $62 million annually and carbon dioxide emissions by 0.5 million tons per year, which is equivalent to the emissions from 110,000 passenger vehicles.

The team published these results in a report in March 2021 to help utilities, public utility commissions, developers, and regional planning organizations better understand the value of PSH and overcome a range of market barriers. Researchers also developed a PSH scheduling tool that can be used to maximize PSH revenue by optimizing energy and ancillary services. In addition, researchers developed grid models for simulating the most recent pumped storage technologies with additional features for boosting grid reliability and resiliency.

Grid Reliability, Resilience, & Integration (HydroWIRES) Projects