Electricity

Romania’s biggest pumped storage hydropower project awaits feasibility study

Romania's biggest pumped storage HPP project awaits feasibility study

Photo: Cristian Bortes on Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Published

August 4, 2023

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Published:

August 4, 2023

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The Romanian Ministry of Energy initiated market consultations for the Tarnița-Lapuștești pumped storage hydropower project, aiming to commission a feasibility study.

The Ministry of Energy has commenced market consultations for the Tarnița-Lapuștești pumped storage hydropower project on the Somesul Cald river in Cluj county, in partnership with state energy investment fund SAPE.

The process includes cost calculation and a pre-feasibility study debate aimed at establishing solutions for the electricity storage plant, with a capacity between 500 MW to 1 GW.

The Tarnița-Lapuștești pumped storage facility would be the largest hydroelectric load balancing system in the country.

The project promises numerous advantages and functions for the national energy system including increased safety of the national energy system and the provision of reserves for frequency and voltage adjustments, the Ministry of Energy said. It added that the plant would help restore network operations in the event of a power failure.

The ministry called on market participants to submit nonbinding offers by August 8.

The plant will contribute to balancing more than 4 GW of intermittent wind power

It will also contribute to balancing power and managing intermittent renewable energy sources, ensuring optimal conditions for installing wind power plants with over 4 GW in capacity, the announcement reads.

Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja pointed out that the government intends to tap on European funds and the Modernisation Fund in particular for the project.

Notably, plans for Tarnița-Lapuștești date back to the 1970s.

After leaving it dormant for decades, the government gave its approval in 2019 and established a company called Hidro Tarniţa to implement the project. The investment was estimated at EUR 1.15 billion, and the plan anticipated a seven-year construction timeline with commissioning in two stages.

Romania has three hydropower plants with a total of five pumping units, which have a combined capacity of 91.5 MW. They are run by state-owned Hidroelectrica, which last year relaunched the dormant Islaz project by proposing it as a pumped storage hydropower plant.

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