Africa, Dam Design and Construction, News, Pumped Storage Hydro

Zimbabwe includes pumped storage hydro in renewable energy strategy

Swedish-owned Ngonyezi Projects has entered into a non-consumptive water use agreement with Zimbabwe National Water Authority, which will see the installation of a 2,000-MWh Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) facility and 300-MW floating solar PV plant.

The location of the installation is Osborne Dam on the Odzi River in Manicaland Province.

Storage is an essential part of a renewable energy strategy, and it is recommended that 30% of the installed solar PV should be supported by storage, says Tomas Persson, initiator of the project.

Ngonyezi Projects notes that in Zimbabwe there is average 8.5h peak price per day.

In terms of the design, it is anticipated that the solar PV project will require 500 ha of reservoir surface for solar panels. The water will cool the panels, providing higher efficiency, and the panels covering the surface water will reduce algae growth and evaporation by 20 million m3/year.

PSH currently dominates total installed storage power capacity, with 96% of the total of 176 GW installed globally in mid-2017.

The other electricity storage technologies already in significant use around the world include thermal storage, with 3.3 GW, batteries with 1.9 GW and other mechanical storage with 1.6 GW.

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