Switzerland’s 1,000-MW Linthal pumped-storage plant connected to grid

Switzerland’s 1,000-MW Linthal pumped-storage hydropower plant has been successfully synchronized to the Swiss grid, according to equipment supplier GE Renewable Energy.

The Axpo-owned facility is located in the Linthal Valley in eastern Switzerland, and uses water pumped from Lake Limmern to Lake Mutt to generate energy. Linthal is an addition to the existing 450-MW Linth Limmern hydroelectric project.

Linthal makes use of four 250 MW variable-speed generating units designed and manufactured at GE’s hydro sites in Europe. The contract was awarded by Axpo (formerly KLL) to GE Renewable Energy in 2008, with delivery taking place in Spring 2014.

“Linthal is GE’s first variable-speed machine on the grid and brings positive momentum for the future of hydropower,” said GE Hydro CEO Yves Rannou. “With variable speed in the game, GE proves that hydro is definitely the most reliable source of renewable energy on the grid. Hydro will lead the way to more flexibility for other sources of renewable power like solar and wind.”

GE said the plant will now undergo a series of tests before it enters commercial operation later this year.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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