Pumped storage hydropower review

  • Pumped storage hydropower uses the differential in height between two reservoirs to store energy
  • The scheme design helped in discussions with planning authorities and environmental consultants

Arup provided technical consultancy services to a client wishing to develop a portfolio of pumped storage hydropower schemes in the UK.

The schemes use the differential in height between two reservoirs to store energy. During periods when demand is lower, electricity is purchased from the grid and used to pump water from the lower reservoir to the higher one. In periods of high demand the water is released and allowed to return through the pumps, which act as turbines in order to generate electricity.

The project included notional scheme design to support the client in discussions with the planning authorities and environmental consultants.

Arup also helped to prioritise investment with equipment cost data and a notional design recommendation to allow comparison of potential sites in the UK.


  • Cross section diagram showing pumped hydropower energy storage plantOpen gallery

    Pumped energy hydropower schemes use two reservoirs at different heights to store energy.