Pumped hydro looks good at 40

The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Photo credit: Consumers Energy
The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Photo credit: Consumers Energy

We’ve already seen that, despite massive initial capital costs, the amount of energy needed to build a pumped hydro plant compared with its lifetime storage capacity makes it the most efficient energy storage investment in the game. So it’s great to see a project showing that even though you’ve been around for four decades, you still have plenty to offer the grid and its customers.

Jointly owned by DTE Electric and Consumers Energy, the 1.87GW Ludington Pumped Storage Plant can store enough energy to generate power for a community of over a million, according to local periodical, The Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Now a six-year expansion programme should up that figure to 1.65 million customers and increase the plant’s efficiency by 5%, thanks to a USD$800m cash injection from the owners. As well as ensuring that a large-scale energy storage facility is better prepared for the rises in renewable energy that have been taking place, the project will supply 100 additional jobs to the area.

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