January 9, 2019 Read More →

China plans massive pumped hydro investment to ease renewable energy curtailments


China’s State Grid Corp will invest 38.7 billion yuan ($5.66 billion) to build five pumped hydro storage plants across the country in an effort to ease stranded power systems amid Beijing’s push to boost clean energy consumption.

The five plants, located in the provinces of Jilin, Hebei, Shandong and Zhejiang, and far west region of Xinjiang, will have a combined capacity of 6 gigawatts (GW) and are expected to be launched by 2026, the State Grid Corp said in a statement on Wednesday. The state-backed company currently has 19.23 GW of pumped hydro storage capacity and 30.15 GW under construction.

The investment came as China has vowed to boost large-scale energy storage capacity over the next decade and launch at least 40 GW of pumped hydro storage plants by 2020.

Energy storage facilities, including pumped hydro storage plants, compressed air energy storage and bulk storage with batteries, could help prevent renewable power from being wasted when there is not enough transmission capacity to absorb the electricity.

Pumped hydro storage plants could be used as reservoirs when demand is low and as hydro power stations to generate electricity when consumption picks up.

Wind waste rates stood at 8.7 percent in China in the first half of 2018, while solar waste reached 3.6 percent, according to data from the National Energy Administration.

More: China’s State Grid to invest $5.7 billion into pumped hydro storage plants

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