Practical operation strategies for pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES) utilising electricity price arbitrage

David Connolly, Henrik Lund, P. Finn, Brian Vad Mathiesen, M. Leahy

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In this paper, three practical operation strategies (24Optimal, 24Prognostic, and 24Hsitrocial) are compared to the optimum profit feasible for a PHES facility with a 360 MW pump, 300 MW turbine, and a 2 GWh storage utilising price arbitrage on 13 electricity spot markets. The results indicate that almost all (not, vert, similar97%) of the profits can be obtained by a PHES facility when it is optimised using the 24Optimal strategy developed, which optimises the energy storage based on the day-ahead electricity prices. However, to maximise profits with the 24Optimal strategy, the day-ahead electricity prices must be the actual prices which the PHES facility is charged or the PHES operator must have very accurate price predictions. Otherwise, the predicted profit could be significantly reduced and even become a loss. Finally, using the 24Optimal strategy, the PHES profit can surpass the annual investment repayments required. However, over the 5-year period investigated (2005–2009) the annual profit from the PHES facility varied by more than 50% on five out of six electricity markets considered. Considering the 40-year lifetime of PHES, even with low investment costs, a low interest rate, and a suitable electricity market, PHES is a risky investment without a more predictable profit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)4189-4196
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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