Poland looks to pumped storage for improved energy security

pumped storage
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

To improve the country’s energy mix, Poland has announced plans to build new pumped storage power plants and thoroughly modernize the existing ones.

Joint actions for the development of fully ecological energy storage will be undertaken by the Ministry of Climate and the Environment, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, according to a release.

The letter of intent in this matter was signed on 22 October by the heads of entities participating in the initiative: Minister Michał Kurtyka, President Maciej Chorowski, and Vice Presidents Paweł Śliwa and Paweł Cioch. 

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The main goal of the planned joint activities is to strengthen Poland’s energy security, including ensuring a constant supply of electricity.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment manages the government administration department Energy, and the task of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, as an institution of the public finance sector, is to finance Poland’s eco-development, including projects in the field of energy security. PGE Capital Group is a leader of the energy sector in Poland, including water power engineering.

“Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040, adopted by the government, emphasizes the role of pumped storage power plants to ensure stable operation of the Polish power system in a situation when our energy transition is under way and the share of renewable energy sources is growing dynamically,” Kurtyka said.

“Power plants of this type are characterized by high flexibility in the energy generation process and the ability to store it. This gives a wide range of regulatory possibilities and allows the reserve of energy resources for the National Power System, complementing the stable development of renewable sources, and in the future also of nuclear energy. The letter of intent signed today will help in the implementation of these assumptions.”

Pumped storage plants have been operating in Poland for many years. They are powerful batteries (energy storage) with huge capacity and energy efficiency.

“The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, as the main institution financing climate and environmental protection in Poland, focuses on improving the standard of living of Poles, and this is supported by activities aimed at strengthening the Polish energy sector and ensuring uninterrupted electricity supplies,” Chorowski said.

“By focusing on the development of renewable energy in the prosumer area, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFEPWM) sees the need to support large investments that will guarantee the stabilization of the National Power System and increase the technical possibilities of connecting new renewable energy sources.”

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The purpose of the letter of intent is to undertake comprehensive cooperation on projects aimed at the modernization and construction of new pumped storage power plants. The modernized and new plants will function as large and efficient energy storage facilities, as well as provide system services for the stabilization of the National Power System.

“The PGE Group is a national leader in the field of water power engineering. Our share in the domestic market of pumped storage power plants is around 90%. Pumped storage plants, in addition to the function of stabilizing energy in the grid, are primarily a mature technology of large-scale electricity storage, necessary to support the development of renewable energy sources in Poland,” said Paweł Śliwa, vice president of the management board of PGE for innovation.

“We want to use our potential and experience and develop this technology in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate and Environment and with the support of the National Fund for Environmental Protection, to increase the technical possibilities of connecting new renewable energy sources, thus supporting the national transformation and energy security.”

The cooperation declared in the letter of intent will be implemented mainly through the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of construction, modernization, and operation of pumped storage plants. The parties to the agreement also intend to strive to create optimal conditions (organizational, cost, financial, technical, etc.) for carrying out projects that will result in the development of pumped storage.

Originally published on hydroreview.com

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