Why Is Pumped Storage Hydropower Important? (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video Why Is Pumped Storage Hydropower Important?

This video details the importance of pumped storage hydropower for a clean energy future.

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[Text on screen: Pumped Storage Hydropower]

Figuring out long-duration energy storage will be crucial to securing a clean energy future. NREL's water power researchers know that pumped storage hydropower, often shortened to PSH, has a unique ability to enable utility-scale energy storage.

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This means that PSH facilities can also store over 8 hours of utility-scale electricity, making it extremely valuable to the existing and future grid. But how does it work?

A pumped storage hydropower facility generates electricity by releasing water from an upper reservoir to pass through a turbine on its way to a lower reservoir. The energy created is then turned to electricity to support the grid.

And when energy demands are low, these facilities will use surplus electricity to pump water back to the upper reservoir to wait for it to be needed once more. PSH can act as a renewable energy bank that can switch on when power is needed.

That kind of flexibility makes it a great complement to other variable clean energy sources like wind and solar. At NREL, experts are designing tools and models to collect comprehensive data and evaluate pumped storage hydropower's role in a reliable, resilient, and cost-effective clean energy grid.

Researchers are exploring U.S. landscapes to find large amounts of technical potential and capacity for pumped storage hydropower across the country, conducting more location-specific studies; creating better understandings of where, how, and why pumped storage hydropower can assist in energy transitions; looking toward commercialization to provide market assessments, lessons learned, resources and networking opportunities; making it easier to navigate the complex permitting process to develop pumped storage hydropower facilities; and investing in the future of pumped storage hydropower by encouraging and advancing different concepts, styles, and techniques.

As the climate changes, pumped storage hydropower has the potential to be the reliable, flexible energy storage source the nation could count on. And NREL research is working to support its development for the clean energy future.

Find out how pumped storage hydropower can power our future at nrel.gov.

[Text on screen: www.nrel.gov/water/hydropower-research]

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