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Estonia is planning an unique hydro accumulation power plant

We are developing a unique hydro accumulation power plant in Estonia with a planned power output of 500 MW, that can operate as a regulating, peaking or an emergency power plant.

The innovative power plant will help to balance and integrate better to the grid both wind turbines and other production facilities that have an unstable energy production. The power plant has an important role in the balancing market as it will makes the balancing energy cheaper.

The Estonian hydro accumulation power plant project is listed as one of EU’s projects of common interest (PCI list) due to its importance and innovation.

We plan to build a hydro accumulation power plant using a solution where an underground mine will be used to create a difference in height. The sea will act as the upper reservoir and the lower reservoir will be built at a depth of 500 m. The power plant works on a principle where during periods of high electrical demand and high energy prices, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. During the low-cost off-peak period the electric power is used to run the pumps. This solution means that only a substation will be built above ground, the water intake and all the technical equipment — the turbine hall, water channels, shafts and the water reservoir itself will be built underground.

To build the hydro accumulation power plant we must first build the underground reservoir that will be located in the crystalline bedrock. The out-taken rock can be used in road construction to replace the imported granite and to reduce the need for limestone. Thus, in addition to the role in the Baltic Sea region’s electrical system, the power plant has a significant positive impact also on the market of domestic building materials as well as on the Estonian environment and the foreign trade balance.

See an introduction video here (in Estonian)