NHA Submits Landmark Paper Identifying Solutions For New Pumped Storage Development

NHA Submits Landmark Paper Identifying Solutions For New Pumped Storage Development

Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2021) – As part of the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower, the National Hydropower Association is announcing today the submission of a pumped storage hydropower (PSH) policy paper aimed at identifying challenges and solutions to jump start development in the United States. The landmark forum is co-chaired by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the Department of Energy. NHA co-authored the U.S. Markets and Policy Paper with General Electric, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and PSH developers.

The paper identifies the critical challenges, barriers and opportunities for accelerating pumped storage development in the U.S. Among these, the co-authors raise several challenges including: a lack of renumeration for various grid services, demonstrating the value of PSH over other storage technologies, inequitable policy treatment and revenue uncertainty as some of the barriers to PSH development.

“As we accelerate the deployment of wind and solar, the need for substantial amounts of long duration storage becomes more apparent,” said Cameron Schilling, Vice President, Market Strategies and Regulatory Affairs, NHA. “Pumped storage is the only proven, cost-effective long duration technology that can integrate large amounts of variable resources. Unfortunately, wholesale markets, state policies and federal tax incentives don’t adequately value the clean energy resource for its grid benefits. With this paper, we are hoping to shine a spotlight on the challenges that are preventing the development of pumped storage.”

“This combined effort across industry players and associations such as NHA and IHA has been very fruitful, setting clear recommendations for specific steps governments, regulators and system operators can take in addressing the challenge of climate change” said JC Sandberg, MD and Executive Counsel, Global Government Affairs and Policy, GE Renewable Energy.

The paper identifies eight specific recommendations for policy changes across multiple jurisdictions including Congress, wholesale markets and state level policies. Although some recommendations aim to make improvements to the FERC licensing process, many of the proposed changes involve ensuring that PSH is considered fairly among other storage technologies, that its services are properly valued in wholesale markets and that it receive adequate treatment in federal tax incentives.

Following submission to the PSH forum, the U.S. paper will become part of a larger global paper identifying challenges and solutions around the world to speed up the deployment of pumped storage to meet aggressive climate goals. In addition, two other working groups focusing on Sustainability as well as on technology Capabilities, Costs and Innovation will also develop guidance about how sustainable pumped storage hydropower can best support the energy transition.

Here is a link to the paper.

About NHA

The National Hydropower Association (NHA) is a nonprofit association dedicated exclusively to promoting the growth of clean, renewable hydropower and marine energy.