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Directed:  Pump Storage Study-Energy/Water Nexus under Climate Change

Summary:  Finding ways to get more pumped generation.

Contact:  Erin Foraker, eforaker@usbr.gov

Research Question: 

  • What opportunities does Reclamation have for pumped generation at our existing facilities?

We will:

  • Identify opportunities for retrofit/conversion for pumped generation at existing Reclamation facilities, including technical considerations and requirements
  • Develop a screening process for candidate facilities that integrates technical, environmental, and economic considerations
  • Select and develop alternatives for the most favorable candidate facility
  • Perform economic analyses for these alternatives
  • Report findings

Need and Benefit: 

Pumped storage flattens out load variations on the power grid, helping hydropower plants continue operating at peak efficiency, while reducing the need for “peaking” powerplants that use costly fuels. However, capital costs for purpose-built hydrostorage are high. Determining ways to retrofit our existing facilities could provide an economical and environmentally sound way to provide power.


Keywords:  hydropower, pumped storage