Colbún proposes 800 MW desalinated water-powered pumped storage project in Chile


From pv magazine ESS News site

Pumped hydro (PHES) has long been the dominant energy storage technology wordwide, but today’s rapidly growing battery energy storage fleet looks set to overtake the throne. According to some industry indsiders, the switch at the top in terms of gigawatts of power installed is likely to already happen next year as batteries become as mature and bankable an asset class as the much more established PHES.

Meanwhile, the global PHES pipeline of projects continues to grow. One of the latest major announcements has come from Chilean utility Colbún. The company has revealed plans to tap into the Pacific Ocean for its proposed 800 MW pumped-storage hydropower plant in the northern part of the country.

PHES facilities store and generate electricity by moving water between two reservoirs at different elevations. Colbún’s proposed Paposo Pumping Central energy storage project aims to create a power station that will circulate desalinated water between its lower and upper reservoirs to store and release excess renewable energy.

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Colbún has submitted the environmental impact study for the Paposo project, which, if approved, would become the first electricity generation initiative in Latin America based on a closed circuit of desalinated water recirculation. It would allow almost half a million households access to clean and sustainable energy.

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