While Energy Storage using Lithium Batteries and other innovative concepts like Flywheels frequently make news, the largest sources of Energy Storage like Lead Acid batteries and Pumped Hydro Storage hardly get attention. This is despite Hydro Storage accounting for hundreds of giga watt hours of storage capacity around the world. There is 90 GW of Global Pumped Hydro Storage already existing in the world and with increasing Solar and Wind Energy this Capacity is only going to grow.
The main use of Pumped Hydro Storage is for Grid Energy Storage rather than Energy Storage for Automobiles and Electronic Products. Investing in this form makes a lot of sense economically and otherwise since they make use of existing hydro power plants. The trend towards Pumped Hydro Storage is increasing with countries like China, Scotland, USA and Australia proposing massive new capacities. While USA has 21 GW and Europe 38 MW, China has around 14.55 GW of Pumped Hydro Storage Capacity. China intends to increase this to 41 GW by 2020, which at $300,000/MW would mean an investment of ~7.5 Billion Dollar by China alone over the next 10 years.
West Bengal which already has 900 MW of pumped hydro storage plans to double the capacity to around 2000 MW by investing around $450 million. The plant will come up in Purulia making it the biggest hydro storage location in the country.
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The West Bengal Government is planning to set up its pumped storage power plant in Purulia for excess power produced during the winter season. According to Malay Kr. De, principal secretary, state power department, a detailed project report is being prepared in this regard. The project will have the capacity to store 1,000 MW of power and will entail an investment of nearly Rs 2,500 crore.