Weekly and monthly analysis of the consumption of pumped storage hydroelectric power plants shows that wind energy plays a crucial role in the volume of energy consumed by pumping. The complementarity between pumped storage, batteries and seasonal storage places pumped storage power plants in a strategic place in the energy transition.
The factor of wind energy in pumping plants consumption
We have already analyzed in a previous news item how the consumption of pumped storage hydroelectric power plants, or pumping plants, has adapted to the hourly profile of solar photovoltaic energy. Pumping plants have shifted to consuming most of the energy during the central hours of the day, when solar photovoltaic energy puts downward pressure on electricity market prices.
However, analyzing the consumption patterns of pumping plants on a weekly and monthly basis, it is clear how wind energy plays a key role in the amount of energy consumed by pumping plants. The ability of wind energy to put significant downward pressure on market prices for periods of up to several days at a time creates ideal situations for pumping to store large amounts of energy.
Complementarity between pumped storage and batteries
When analyzing the correlation between consumption and production of pumped storage hydroelectric power plants, it can be seen that most of the energy stored during one day is returned to the grid during the following two or three days. This ability to store energy for days is well complemented by wind energy production, as wind events typically last between one or two days.
Batteries, on the other hand, can typically deliver full energy to the grid for two to four hours. This characteristic makes them very suitable for storing and managing solar energy in intraday cycles. That is, storing energy during the middle hours of the day, when solar energy production is at its peak, and returning it to the grid during the evening demand peak, when solar energy production decreases with sunset, or the following morning, just before sunrise.
In the spectrum of energy storage solutions, pumped storage has a strategic position as a bridge between batteries and seasonal storage with technologies such as green hydrogen. Although there is still a long way to go in the development of pumped storage, its fundamental role in the stability and efficiency of the electricity system stands out as an essential component in the transition to more sustainable energy sources.