Lapland gets pumped-storage hydropower in drive towards green transition

The upper reservoir where water will be stored. Illustration by Suomen Voima

Finland is working hard to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. New wind farms and solar panels are part of the solution, but what to do when you have no wind and the sun is under the horizon mid-winter?

Suomen Voima energy company will invest up to €300 million to build 1-3 small-scale pumped storage hydropower plants in Kemijärvi in eastern Lapland.

The project, estimated at 100-200 megawatts, will add balancing power in Finland. Each of the systems with reservoirs is estimated at €50-100 million and will enable more efficient utilization of renewable energy with minimal impact on the landscape and environment.

A loop-pumped storage hydropower system uses two water reservoirs at different elevations, one higher than the other. Power is generated when water flows from the upper one. When there is a lot of surplus electricity, during windy days or sunny clear skies, water from the lower level will be pumped up again, ready for days with less renewable production to the grid.

It works like a giant battery.

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Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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