50 megawatt pumped hydro project approved in Wales

A new pumped hydro power project is planned for the Gwynedd region of Wales that will add to the 1,728 megawatt power station already in place.

On Monday, the Gywnedd Council planning comission granted developer Quarry Battery planning permission to develop the Glyn Rhonwy site, on the on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. The company says the £100 million ($156 million) project, capable of storing up to 600 megawatt-hours of energy, could be operational by 2017.

“By putting small-scale storage near to centres of energy generation such as wind farms, and others near centers of heavy consumption such as major cities, we will cut down on distribution losses and network transmission costs, making whole regions of the U.K. increasingly self-sufficient in renewable electricity,” Quarry Battery managing director Dave Holmes said, according to a BBC report .

The project would repurpose two quarries at different elevations to act as reservoirs that are conveniently near grid connections, making this an ideal location. And with pumped hydro being a reliable way to add stability and storage capacity to the power grid, the biggest hurdle to cross now is to get this project started without destroying the aesthetic of the Snowdonia landscape.

Read more about pumped hydro at Earth Techling.