DEWA studying feasibility for 400-MW pumped-storage facility in Arabian Gulf

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will study the feasibility of building a 400-MW pumped-storage hydropower plant in Hatta, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.”

DEWA made the announcement on Jan. 15, saying it has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with GCC Interconnection Authority and Belgian Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering Group to conduct the study.

The amount of the MoA was not released.

According to DEWA, the MoA aims to study building a 400-MW pumped-storage hydropower station in the Arabian Gulf that has a 2,500 MWh storage capacity in an effort to diversify DEWA’s energy mix and enhance energy storage technologies.

DEWA Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HE Saeed Mohammad Ahmad Al Tayer, said, “This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to make Dubai a global hub for clean energy and green economy, and provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050.”

Al Tayer also said the innovative 400-MW project, “which will be the first of its kind in the region, builds on DEWA’s success in launching a 250-MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Hatta.”

In May, reported DEWA announced it awarded a US$15.8 million consultancy contract to France’s EDF for the US$523 million 250-MW pumped-storage project in Hatta at Al Hattawi Dam.

DEWA says the 250-MW Hatta project will use water from Al Hattawi Reservoir, which is 400 meters above sea level and has a capacity of 1,716 million gallons. An upper reservoir will be built 700 meters above sea level and solar energy will power hydro turbines to pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. The horizontal distance between the two reservoirs will be 3 to 4 kilometers and have a 300-meter difference in height.

Al Tayer said hydropower is the most important source of energy storage and stored hydropower has the biggest share of the world’s operational electricity storage.

He thinks a key advantage of pumped-storage facilities is that they integrate with different renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, which are non-flexible power supply options as they are affected when the wind drops or the sun is covered by clouds. This makes pumped-storage hydropower an important source for energy storage, as water is stored when excess energy is produced, and then used when energy demand is at its highest during peak hours.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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