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Presentation RSE 16000354

Underground Hydro Pumped Storage Potential Assessment in Italy


4th Annual Advanced Hydropower Generation and Pumped Storage Forum 27-28, Gennaio-2016.

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J. Alterach (RSE SpA), G. Bruno (RSE SpA), P. Federici (RSE SpA), A. Danelli (RSE SpA)

ACCUMULO 2015 - Materiali e tecnologie per accumulo energia per sistema elettrico

The present work concerns the evaluation of a hydroelectric underground storage technology, obtainable through the exploitation of existing surface reservoirs and new underground helicoid-shaped tunnels, constructed by tunnel boring machine, at about 700 m depth.

The increasing share of non-programmable renewable energy plants is causing several problems for the exercise of the electricity grid. The pumped hydro constitute a solution, fulfilling the role of large size energy accumulation systems to balance loads, adjust the frequency, generate reserves and integrate more renewable energy units.The scarcity of topographic gradients to be used without constraints, suggests the evaluation of an "underground pumped hydro" scheme, obtained through the exploitation of cavern reservoirs built several meters below the surface.

This work deals with the assessment of the pumped underground hydro storage technology hydroelectric, obtainable by exploiting existing surface reservoirs linked with a spiral underground reservoir built by Tunnel-boring machines (TBM), at about 700 m depth.The storage Italian potential is then calculated, taking into account lithographic charts and protected areas.Some estimates of the costs and their revenues are assessed to guess and financial feasibility.

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