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Voith Delivers Pumped Storage Plants to China and Austria – Contribution to Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy Sources

  • Large orders totaling around €90 million
  • Growth potential for pumped storage plants as backbone for energy turnaround
Heidenheim. Voith has received two large orders to equip respectively modernize pumped storage plants in China and Austria. Both plants will use Voith technology to make a significant contribution to the supply of climate friendly power from renewable energy sources. The total value of the two orders amounts to around
€90 million.

More climate friendly energy for China: four pumped storage units for Hongping

Voith is to supply four pumped storage units, each with an output of 300 megawatts (MW), for the Hongping pumped storage plant in Jiangxi province in Southeast China. Voith received the order from the largest energy provider in the country, the State Grid Corporation of China. Order value amounts to more than €70 million. During the initial development phase, which is due to be completed in 2015, the plant will supply 1,200 MW of power. Hongping will generate 2,400 MW of power once fully developed, making it one of the largest pumped storage plants in the world.

"Voith technologies make significant contributions in China when it comes to providing a comprehensive and secure supply of power, saving energy and driving sustainable development on the back of renewable energy sources. Pumped storage plants are the only proven, economically attractive technology for storing electricity from other renewable sources, such as wind and solar – particularly when the proportion of these sources in the energy mix is becoming more and more significant," explains Dr. Roland Münch, President and CEO of Voith Hydro.

China already has 24 pumped storage plants with a total installed capacity of approx. 18,700 MW. There is considerable potential for pumped storage plants in the Middle Kingdom: More and more electricity from wind turbines and solar power systems is being fed into the grids across China. The aim of the latest five-year plan of the government, its twelfth, is to generate 11.4 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. By 2020, this figure will increase to 20 percent.

Voith modernizes and extends Kops I

In Europe, pumped storage plants are also playing a key role in new energy policies. Voith is currently involved in several new building and modernization projects in Portugal, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The company has now received an order from a long-standing customer, Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, to modernize and extend the Kops I pumped storage plant in the Austrian Alps. Voith originally equipped this pumped storage plant 50 years ago. The scope of supply includes three new double Pelton turbines and controller components. The modernization will see the capacity of Kops I increase by 12 percent from 247 MW at present to 276 MW. Order value for Voith is around €16 million.

Pumped storage plants as backbone of new energy policy

Changing over to renewable sources to supply energy can only be achieved if there are enough economically attractive options available for storing power. "Solar power systems and wind turbines can only be extended on a large scale by using pumped storage plants. We are assuming that the share of pumped storage plants on the entire hydropower market will increase significantly in the years ahead from around 3 percent to 7 percent. Future prospects for Voith in this segment look very good," states Dr. Roland Münch.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials, transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 40,000 people, generates €5.6 billion in sales, operates in around 50 countries around the world and is now one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.


Markus Woehl

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

Head of Corporate Press Office


t +49 7321 37 2219