The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

Germany: EnBW to start construction on pumped hydro plant in 2023


Energy firm EnBW has been given the go-ahead to start work on a pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project in Germany.

The Baden-Württemberg-headquartered firm will invest €280 million (US$300 million) in upgrading the Rudolf Fettweis hydropower plant in Forbach into a modern PHES plant.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The Karlsruhe regional administration issued the approval notice on 1 March, and construction will start this year with completion expected by the end of 2027.

Karlsruhe administration president Sylvia M. Felder said: “I am pleased that the Forbach hydropower site is being retained and transformed into to a dedicated pumped storage power plant. This is a significant contribution to the success of the energy transition. Pumped storage power plants represent a vital means of energy storage and are indispensable for renewable energies.”

The main aspect of the new project is the construction of a new powerhouse integrated into the hillside to accommodate the new plant technology. This will include a new turbine for the Schwarzenbach power plant, with 54MW discharge power capability and 57MW of pumping power, as well as three Francis turbines for the Murg plant totalling 23MW.

The existing Forbach equalisation basin will be expanded with a new cavern water reservoir in the adjacent hillside to serve as the lower reservoir for the future pumped storage power plant. This will collect water channeled from the upper reservoir (the Schwarzenbach dam) to drive the turbines and generate electricity.

PHES plants account for the vast majority of installed energy storage capacity by MWh today, but new projects are relatively few and far between because of the nature of the technology.

Last month conglomerate GE announced it would provide six 37MW turbines for a plant in Gran Canaria, while in March £100 million (US$124.4 million) was put into a new project in Scotland and a final application for an 8GWh project in Nevada was submitted.

See a German-language diagram of how the new PHES plant in Germany will work below.

Read Next

June 19, 2024
A 25MW/55MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) has been commissioned by operator Renalfa IPP, using technology provided by Chinese firms Hithium and Kehua.
June 18, 2024
Octopus Energy’s head of flexibility discussed its tolling deal with Gresham House for nearly 1GWh of BESS projects, including how they will fit into its VPP portfolio and whether their energy market activity could change under its control.
June 18, 2024
A renewables-only subsidiary of utility Eneco and developer Energisto have revealed a battery energy storage system (BESS) joint venture in Germany, which expects construction permits for up to 400MWh of projects this year.
June 18, 2024
Aaron Philipp Gerdemann explores some of the grid-forming technologies emerging as alternatives to traditional solutions for safeguarding the grid.
June 13, 2024
US$5 million will be made available for long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects via a competitive solicitation run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Most Popular

Email Newsletter