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The fluctuations in the amount of energy produced by wind and solar power are getting steadily bigger. One way to even out this rise and fall is to use pumped storage power plants, which are becoming more and more important precisely for this reason. Which is also why ENERVIE’s subsidiary, Mark-E, is currently working together with the Aachen utilities company, Stadtwerke Aachen, on securing the future of the pumped storage power plant in Finnentrop-Rönkhausen. By carrying out extensive redevelopment measures, the partners are looking to ensure that the pumped storage power plant will be able to continue to deliver clean energy whenever it is needed for the next 30 years or more.
The Rönkhausen pumped storage power plant is located in the Sauerland region and is one of just two pumped storage power plants in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It was built between 1965 and 1968 and has been used commercially since 1969. The plant has an overall output of 140 megawatts (MW), divided up between two pump turbines, each with an output of 70 MW. The upper reservoir currently has a storage capacity of around 690 megawatt hours (MWh) and can be filled or emptied in just 5 hours.
The pumped storage power plant has an output of
Having been in operation for almost 50 years, a comprehensive package of measures is now needed to ensure it can continue to be run safely and cost effectively. These measures include replacing the sealing of the upper reservoir, i.e. completely removing the old seal and installing a new layer. At the same time, the storage capacity is to be increased by approx. 70,000m³ by building a protective wall (approx. 1.20 metres high) and raising the overflow edge of the lower reservoir. This will lead to an increase in output of 45 megawatt hours and a reduction in network charges. To enable both machines to be completely overhauled, the pump turbines and spherical valves have been fully dismantled and transported to a factory in the south of Germany. This work is due to have been completed by October 2018. The plant will then be put into operation again and undergo a number of tests.
The power plant is being given a new sealing layer and its storage capacity increased by 70,000m³ to prepare it for its future task of cancelling out fluctu-ations in power supplies
Markus F. Schmidt, Chief Restructuring Officer at ENERVIE
REMONDIS owns a 19.06% share in Enervie. “This new investment model opens up long-term energy opportunities for both partners and secures jobs at Mark-E – both in the area of trade and operations”, explained Markus F. Schmidt, ENERVIE, who led the negotiations for Mark-E. This customised production of energy, therefore, is not only helping support the switch from fossil fuels to renewables, it is also a success story for the environment, economy and jobs in general.
(from right to left) Together, Markus F. Schmidt, CRO Enervie AG, Erik Höhne, Board Spokesman of Enervie AG, Dr Christian Becker, Board Chairman of Stadtwerke Aachen AG (STAWAG), and Wilfried Ullrich, Commercial Board Member of Stadtwerke Aachen AG (STAWAG), decided the pumped storage power plant should continue operating