Frades II

Frades II, Portugal

A milestone in pumped storage technology

In the Fall of 2010, Voith was awarded the contract to equip a new pumped storage power plant, Frades II, in Portugal. The power station is located in the north of the country on the Rabago river and will be connected up to the national grid in 2015. It is operated by Energias de Portugal (EDP).

Portugal goes for renewable energy

Portugal relies on wind, solar and hydropower to generate its electricity supply. Since the turn of the millennium, the country has multiplied its capacity for wind-powered electricity generation. In 1998, Portugal had around 51 MW of installed capacity in its wind turbines, twelve years later it stands at some 3 702 MW. Current plans see this expanding to 5 400 MW. The basis for the further development of power generation from renewable energy sources are its powerful pumped storage plants.

Voith has delivered two variable-speed pump turbines, each with 380 MW rated power, two asynchronous motor generators, each offering 440 MVA in rated power, the frequency converter and the control systems, as well as the hydromechanical equipment for the modern pumped storage power plant, Frades II. The machine sets will be the most powerful and largest of their type when they are commissioned in 2015.

Variable-speed pump turbines

A special feature of Frades II is its variable-speed pump turbines. Thanks to their variable speed, its pump capacity is also variable. As a result, the amount of electricity that can be taken from the network can be flexibly adjusted. It is precisely this combination of power storage and variable pump capacity which is crucial for the continued development of wind power. Frades II will be installed in an underground cavern. The difference in height between the upper and lower water basins is 420 meters.