New Tool Evaluates the Financial Viability of Pumped Storage Hydropower

Patrick Balducci, Mark Weimar, Xu Ma, Di Wu, Jonghwan Kwon, Anna Schleifer, Vladimir Koritarov, Sang-il Kim, Bruce Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The rapidly evolving electricity system with increasing variable renewable energy (VRE) resources provides both opportunities and challenges for the power sector. With the significant ramps and intermittency associated with VRE resources, the requirements and need for additional flexible resources increase. Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) provides flexibility to the electricity grid to replace fossil fuel plants, which are responsible for 25% of U.S. emissions. PSH projects support various aspects of power system operations, including flexibility, ramping capability, energy, ancillary service, black start, and others. The significant potential of hydropower requires understanding the different value drivers to the electricity system specific to the location of a project and then optimizing the plant for the different system values. Thus, determining the value of PSH projects and their many services and contributions to the electricity system can be a challenge for potential developers, system owners, regulators, policy makers, and consultants.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Power and Energy Magazine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A40-88275


  • hydroelectric power
  • power generation economics
  • power grids
  • pumped-storage power stations


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