A 3.6GW pumped hydro project is being built in China to deliver grid services and back-up power at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and Zhangjiakou.
To meet the Winter Olympic deadline the $2.78 billion project in Hebei province will be built in two stages.
The first $1.54 billion, 1.8 GW stage of the project will provide peak-shaving services to the grid and emergency back-up power. The second stage of the project will add the remaining 1.8 GW of storage capacity.
When fully operational in 2023, the project in Fengning county will be one of world’s largest energy storage systems.
The project is part of a 31GW pipeline of projects as the nation races toward its goal of 40GW of pumped hydro capacity in 2020.
China already has 19.23GW of pumped hydro storage capacity, according to The National Energy Administration.
Installed pumped hydro capacity is expected to increase by around 78,000MW up to 2030, with much of the expansion taking place in China up to 50GW, according to a report by the International Hydro Association (IHA) last December.
Expansion in China comes from a need for system flexibility, particularly the need to reduce wind and solar PV curtailment.
Regulatory changes in 2015 have placed the responsibility for PHS under the transmission operators rather than with generating companies, sated IHA in its paper ‘The world’s water battery: Pumped hydropower storage and the clean energy transition’.
The association expects deployment to be overseen by China’s two major grid companies, State Grid Corporation of China and China Southern Grid.
There is 161GW of pumped storage capacity supporting power grid stability globally, with IHA a total storage capacity of 9,000GWh in pumped storage reservoirs.