Voith Wins Major Orders for Pumped Storage Plants

25.02.2021
Voith Hydro has successfully kicked off the new calendar year with major orders in Austria and Israel worth 80 MEUR.
Voith Wins Major Orders for Pumped Storage Plants

Future Manara pumped storage scheme with a difference in height of 700m between upper and lower basin (Image source: Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA)

Due to the global targets for reducing CO2 emissions, electricity generation from renewable sources, especially solar and wind, is currently enjoying encouraging growth. These volatile forms of energy, combined with new market requirements like electro-mobility, not only necessitate corresponding transmission grids but also an expansion of energy storage systems. The Tyrolean company Tiroler Wasserkraft AG (TIWAG) is meeting these needs by building a large pumped storage facility. They have now engaged technology leader Voith Hydro to supply pump turbines including all the necessary sub-systems for their Kühtai 2 project.

Austrian flagship project enables transition to clean energy
The Kühtai pumped storage plant is an extension to the existing Sellrain-Silz power station complex. It will enable the production of renewable energy with flexible timescales as well as the interim storage of electricity from other energy sources. The expansion project is therefore making an important contribution to the transition to renewable energy.

As well as functioning as a “green battery”, the facility will also increase the annual net energy production of the power station complex by 216 GWh. In this context, TIWAG is building on its positive experiences of working with Voith Hydro, which also supplied the equipment for the power plant that went into operation in Kühtai 1 in 1979/80. The two new variable-speed pump turbines each with an output of 95 MW, as well as the necessary control technology and shut-off valves, are scheduled to begin operating in 2026.

Importance of pumped storage also recognized in the Middle East
Alongside the successful contract in Austria, Voith Hydro was also able to secure another order for pumped storage equipment in Israel.

With a view to expanding renewable energies and stabilizing its grid, the Israeli government had decided to expand their pumped storage capacity some years ago. Following a long and intensive project development phase, Voith Hydro was awarded the order for the Manara pumped storage plant at the beginning of February. The scope of supply includes the delivery and installation of the electrical and mechanical equipment for the complete power unit comprising pump turbine, motor-generator and control equipment including sub-systems. With an electrical output of 156 MW and an impressive head of almost 700 m, the system is distinguished in particular by its fast response times to changing grid requirements.

The Manara pumped storage power plant will be located in the north of Israel. It will have two artificial reservoirs and the machine hall will be designed as an underground cavern. Following the construction of the facility, Voith Hydro together with other partners will also be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the pumped storage plant for the first three years.

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