Alpiq connects western Switzerland’s most powerful pumped storage power station to the grid
Since the beginning of 2017, the new power station of Forces Motrices Hongrin-Léman SA (FMHL) has been fully operational. The pumped storage power plant makes a significant contribution towards Switzerland’s security of supply and represents a complementary investment in connection with the fluctuating electricity generation from new renewable energies. Alpiq successfully managed and completed the construction project for FMHL within budget and on schedule.
After more than ten years of planning and construction, the two new pumped turbine groups of the FMHL+ power station in Veytaux are now in operation. They are situated in an impressive cavern – 100 metres long, 25 metres wide and 56 metres high. The FMHL power plant complex comprises the four original machine groups of the Veytaux power plant and the two new FMHL+ machine groups. This means that the power plant now has a maximum turbine output of 420 MW (with 60 MW acting as a reserve). Conversely, the facility can pump water from Lake Geneva up to the Hongrin reservoir 880 metres higher in altitude with an output of 420 MW. With approximately one billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of peak energy, the pumped storage power plant will practically double its annual production (previously: 520 million kWh). For comparison: This equates to the electricity consumption of some 300,000 households.
The FMHL pumped storage power plant is an energy reservoir that can feed electricity into the grid at any time. This makes it an immediate and efficient solution for the bridging of generation bottlenecks and for the storage of excess electricity. In view of the continued increase of fluctuating electricity from wind power and photovoltaic systems, such solutions are indispensable for securing grid stability both in Switzerland and in Europe.