Main objective is to increase the flexibility of the energy system and support the balance of the power grid. Dispatchable renewable energy sources represent a sustainable solution to fulfil this goal and this project focuses on hydropower bringing flexibility through the concept of tidal enhanced low-head seawater energy storage. This general ambition is supported in the project by several clear, measurable, realistic and achievable objectives.
Develop a low-head reversible pump-turbine suitable for Energy Islands/tidal lagoons
The lack of flexibility of the energy system represents a bottleneck for further integration of intermittent renewable energy sources to the grid. Pumped hydro storage is known to be the best solution to store energy in order to provide flexibility services to the energy system, on both economic and environmental aspects. Despite having a negative net production balance, pumped storage allows to minimise the shedding of intermittent production by using the excess energy to store water into an upper reservoir. This synergy with wind and solar energy production allows to shift unpredictable generation to peak demand periods, thus providing flexibility and enhancing the penetration potential of intermittent renewable sources. The high head pumped storage capacity being almost fully exploited, there is a need to find efficient and viable ways to exploit the storage potential of unexplored locations often called Energy Islands.
This project aims at enhancing the viability of such low-head seawater storage facilities through the development of an adapted reversible pump-turbine. While conventional pump-turbines for pumped storage plants target head differences of several hundreds of meters, the developed equipment will perform at heads down to less than 15 meters. Bringing this technology to TRL 5, the project will lead to the test of a prototype in a simulated environment.