[TECH]:: World's largest pumped storage scheme - maybe
This is a 2005 paper outline for a pumped hydro scheme which is now being
mooted as a possible project. Politics features so future uncertain.
IF built it would more than triple the already significant NZ hydro
capacity and would be the world's largest pumped hydro system.
(Hydroelectric power accounts for almost 60% of NZ's electricity).
*Abstract *The Onslow-Manorburn depression in the South
Island of New Zealand has possibility for development as the upper
reservoir of the world’s largest pumped storage scheme, as measured by an
energy storage capacity of 10,200 GWh of realisable potential energy. This
would more than triple the total national hydro-power energy storage
capacity. It is envisaged that the scheme could either operate on a
seasonal cycle or act as a passive energy reserve to buffer existing
hydro-power capacity against the effect of dry years.
*Conclusion *The Onslow-Manorburn basin has the potential to
more than triple the national hydro-power energy storage capacity by way of
a large pumped storage reservoir linked to the Clutha River. The scheme
might be held static as a dry year reserve or operated continuously on a
seasonal basis. However, it is left an open question as to whether it would
be viable within the current grid system in the absence of a complete
analysis of economic, environmental, and engineering aspects. If it
happened that the scheme is constructed to its maximum extent, then New
Zealand’s 135 economic development could be aided by a very visible
manifestation of a national power system well buffered against climatic