The new hydro power plant Aqueva II, powered by Alstom, has been inaugurated by the Portuguese Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Sea, Mrs. Assunção Cristas in the presence of the Chairman of the General and Supervisory Board of EDP, Mr. Eduardo de Almeida Catroga and EDP1 CEO, Mr. António Mexia. It is the extension of the Alqueva I plant located in the South of Evora in the vicinity of Beja, Alentejo, Portugal in operation since 2004. The plant’s installed capacity has been doubled to 520 MW.
In 2008, to meet the need for network regulation because of the booming growth of wind power in southern Portugal, portuguese utility EDP– Gestão da Produção de Energia SA signed a contract around 95 million euro with Alstom and its consortium partners EFACEC Engenharia S.A. and SMM, to extend the Alqueva hydro power. Alstom supplied, delivered and installed two additional reversible pump turbine-generator units of 130 MW each, together with other mechanical equipment. This project is in line with the Portuguese government’s objective to reach 7000 MW in hydropower by 2020.
Alstom previously supplied two reversible pump turbine-generator units of 130 MW each, in operation since 2004 to Alqueva I pumped hydro storage plant2 .
“Alqueva II project was launched by EDP to develop power production through the effective use of Portugal’s natural resources. The successful completion of the Alqueva II hydro power plant has proven once again Alstom’s capacity to execute state-of-the-art pumped storage power plants, and demonstrate our strong relationship with EDP”, stated Angelo Ramalho, President Alstom Portugal.
Alstom is the world leader in pumped hydro storage plants (PSP) for turbines and generators. Pumped storage is the most efficient and flexible form of storing electricity on a grid scale, enabling utilities to respond quickly to demand and balance the grid, replacing the fossil fuels traditionally used during peak demand periods with renewable CO2 free energy. Pumped storage will play a greater role in tomorrow’s energy market due to the development of intermittent energy production sources (wind, solar…) which increases the need for storage. All over the world, Alstom installs pumped storage plants, increasing overall plant efficiency and recovering about 80% of the energy stored. Alstom has been providing pump turbines and motor generators for over 50 years and has supplied a total of 56,000 MW of pump turbines and motor generators to date. Currently Alstom is developing 3 GW variable speed pumped storage plants worldwide: Nant de Drance (6 units x 157 MW), Linthal 2015 (4 x 250 MW) in Switzerland and Tehri (4 x 250 MW) in India.
1EDP : Energia de Portugal
2Pumped storage plants employ reversible turbines and generators which can be used in two modes; either to generate electricity by transferring water from an upper reservoir to a lower one, or by storing energy by pumping water back into the upper reservoir, where it is stored and reused during peak electricity production hours. Pumped storage can recover about 80% of energy consumed in the overall energy cycle.
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