PUMPED HY­DRO

Cosmos - - Cosmos Science Club -

‘ Snowy 2.0’ is a plan to turn one sec­tion of the hy­dro scheme into a gi­ant vir­tual bat­tery ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing 500,000 homes for a week on a sin­gle charge. Ev­ery day the cost of power rises and falls ac­cord­ing to sup­ply and de­mand. At times of high de­mand, the new 2,000 megawatt plant would gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity just like any other hy­dro­elec­tric fa­cil­ity, pow­ered by the flow of wa­ter from a higher reser­voir to a lower one. But when there is sur­plus energy in the grid, en­gi­neers will flick the tur­bines into re­verse, us­ing cheap elec­tric­ity to pump wa­ter from a lower reser­voir back up to a higher one, ready to be used again as soon as energy de­mand picks up. Mod­ern pumped hy­dro schemes typ­i­cally re­cover about 80% of the orig­i­nal hy­dro power.

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