Project Name: Valuation Guidance and Techno-Economic Studies for Pumped Storage Hydropower
Project Team: Argonne National Laboratory (guidebook lead), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (tool lead), Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Lead Recipients’ Locations: Lemont, Illinois, and Richland, Washington
This article is part of the
WPTO 2020–2021 ACCOMPLISHMENTS REPORT
In This Report
To help solve challenges related to calculating the value of pumped storage hydropower (PSH) plants and their many services, a team of U.S. national laboratories developed detailed, step-by-step valuation guidance that PSH developers, plant owners or operators, and other stakeholders can use to assess the value of existing or potential new PSH plants and their services. A team led by Argonne National Laboratory developed the PSH Valuation Guidebook, and a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-led team created an online tool to help guidebook users navigate the valuation process.
The project team aimed to develop comprehensive and transparent guidance to support consistent valuation assessments and comparisons of PSH projects or design alternatives. To achieve this goal, the team developed a cost-benefit and decision analysis valuation framework structured as a 15-step process.
The steps are grouped into four main activities highlighting the key stages of the valuation process: defining the scope of the analysis, developing valuation criteria, designing the analysis, and determining and evaluating the results. The valuation framework is designed to account for all PSH project costs and benefits, helping to determine the economic value of the project for the owner, system, and/or society as a whole. In addition, the framework allows for cost-benefit analyses to be performed from specific perspectives of different stakeholders, such as regulators and policymakers.
The PSH Valuation Guidebook was disseminated among industry stakeholders to build understanding of the true potential of this vital clean energy storage technology. The companion PSH Valuation Tool was demonstrated during the National Hydropower Association’s Clean Currents conference in October 2021 and released in November 2021.
With the PSH Valuation Guidebook and Tool, key decision makers will have the resources necessary to properly evaluate new PSH or upgrade projects, leading to additional plants coming online to help decarbonize the power sector.
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