Tunisian utility planning 600MW pumped hydro energy storage plant

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Tunisian utility STEG is planning to build a 400-600MW pumped hydro energy storage plant, for a 2029 commissioning date.

STEG, or the Société tunisienne de l’électricité et du gaz (Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas), is currently undertaking studies for the project, according to a news release from Agence Tunis Afrique Presse.

The project is being planned for a location on the Oued El Melah river, 17km from the nearest town, Tabarka, and will have a power of 400-600MW. A MWh capacity was not revealed, but pumped hydro energy storage technology’s typical duration of between 6-20 hours would equate to potentially anywhere between 2.4GWh and 12GWh.

The French Development Agency (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the German Development Bank (KfW) are all contributing to the cost of the studies. The work being done includes topographical, geotechnical, environmental, social impact and grid connection studies.

The pumped hydro facility would support help stabilise the Tunisian grid as it integrates more renewable energy resources into its generation profile.

The country aims to have a renewable energy generation mix of 35% by 2035 versus just 3% today. Part of that involves building 3,800MW of solar by 2030, called the 30/30 initiative.

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