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Nant de Drance Power Plant: First Pump Turbine Connected to the Grid

Finhaut, Switerzland - The new Nant de Drance power plant has a capacity of 900 MW, making it one of the most powerful pumped storage plants in Europe.

Now one of the six pump turbines at the Nant de Drance power plant was connected to the extra-high-voltage grid for the first time. This process went smoothly and marks a major step in the current test phase. Once the power plant is fully operational at the end of 2021, it will make an important contribution to the security of supply, providing flexible power generation.

There are currently close to 150 people working on site. Around 50 of them are involved in getting the power plant up and running, while the others are working on building the groups in the machine cavern and completing the finishing works.

Commissioning is progressively carried out on several machines in parallel, which requires perfect coordination of these complex operations. The machine cavern holds a total of six pump turbines, each with a capacity of 150 MW. Work will continue until the end of 2021, when the Nant de Drance plant will be fully operational.

Nant de Drance SA shareholders have invested about CHF 2.2 billion in the construction of the pumped storage power plant. This investment demonstrates a long-term vision and a willingness to meet the challenges of future electricity supply. Depending on demand, the 900 MW plant will be able to produce or store large quantities of energy in a very short period of time.

This exceptional flexibility will play a decisive role, as electricity production becomes increasingly volatile due to the expansion of new renewable energies and the growing demand for flexibility. The balancing energy provided by Nant de Drance can balance short-term differences between electricity production and consumption. The plant will make a decisive contribution to the stability of the European electricity grid and the security of supply within Switzerland.



Source: IWR Online, 07 Aug 2020