GE Renewable Energy has announced it has signed a turbine supply agreement with Max Bögl Wind AG to deliver and commission the world’s first ever wind turbine integrated with pumped storage hydro-electric power.
The full scope of the Gaildorf project, located in Germany’s Swabian-Franconian Forest on the Limpurger Berge uplands, will consist of 4 units of GE’s new 3.4-137 wind turbine technology and a 16MW capacity pumped storage hydro-electric power plant. GE’s 3.4-137 wind turbine generators will sit at a hub height of 178 meters, while the lower 40 meters of each tower and its surrounding area will be utilized as active water reservoirs to store energy. A nearby valley, approximately 200 vertical meters below the wind turbines, will house an additional lake and a 16MW capacity pump/generator hydro plant. During times of peak demand and high electricity prices, the hydro plant will be in production mode. During times of low electricity demand and lower prices, the hydro plant will be in pump mode, pumping and storing water–and hence energy–in the upper reservoir for later use.