EPS has initiated a strategic project for storing energy
This hydro power plant that enables storing energy is one of the EPS’ strategic projects, and it is particularly important because greater share of variable renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun is expected
Forty years after the original idea had emerged, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia called for tender for preparation of a Conceptual Design and Feasibility Study for construction of the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica. This hydro power plant that enables storing energy is one of the EPS’ strategic projects, and it is particularly important because greater share of variable renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun is expected. This is a case when hydro power plants of this type “jump in” and “cover” oscillations in operation of RES.
The pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica could have four units, with total installed capacity of 628 MW, and the estimated production would be 1,100 GWh, or more precisely, about 770 GWh from the pumped-storage hydro power plant and about 320 GWh by taking from the hydro power plant Bistrica. The cost of this investment has been estimated to be about € 650 million.
– It is certain that new capacities that would enable balancing and stability of the system, not only in Serbia, but in the region as well, will be necessary. EPS recognizes pumped-storage hydro power plants as the most appropriate, and the project of the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica as an excellent option considering a level of developing documents and characteristics of the project. Importance of the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica is reflected in capacity to store energy that enables balancing of the system by producing electricity when it is most needed. Therefore, there is no greater energy interest for Serbia than this hydro power plant – says Mr. Vladimir Marković, Executive Director for Strategic Projects Development. – With its energy characteristics and position within the basin of the Uvac River, the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica may also exploit an additional water potential from upstream accumulations and hence improve the way of exploitation of all hydro power plants on the Uvac and Lim rivers. The production portfolio of EPS will be optimized better and this makes the project for the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica superior to other similar projects.
The new Conceptual Design with the Feasibility Study to be prepared is based on documents from 1980s, with appreciating new technical solutions and new market conditions being different from those in 1981. The recent analyses showed that it is necessary to build the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica for providing normal operation of the Serbian electric power system with expected levels of RES in a period after 2030. It has been found that after 2030, it will not be possible to keep balance reserves for Serbia without the pumped-storage hydro power plant Bistrica.
The operation principle
Pumped-storage hydro power plants are flexible – these operate based on the principle of pumping water from the lower accumulation or river into the upper accumulation when general electricity demand is lower, and producing electricity from the upper accumulation when the demand is increasing. Pumped-storage hydro power plants produce peak electricity for covering maximum daily consumption, and this is the most expensive energy on the market. They are also used as an energy storage by using the energy for pumping water from the lower into the upper accumulation.