Statkraft plans pumped storage hydropower plant of up to 1.6 GW in Albania

20 Shtator 2023, 13:03Economy TEMA

Statkraft plans pumped storage hydropower plant of up to 1.6 GW in Albania

Statkraft intends to expand its hydropower cascade on the Devoll river in southern Albania with pumped storage system Moglica. The capacity is estimated at 800 MW to 1.6 GW. The facility would be connected to the reservoir of the existing Moglica hydropower plant.

Norway-based Statkraft, a major investor in hydropower in Albania, agreed with the country’s government to launch a project for a pumped storage station, Monitor reported. The document was passed to parliament for a vote.

The utility owns and operates hydropower plants Banja (72 MW) and Moglica (184 MW) on the Devoll river in the country’s south under a concession via its subsidiary Devoll Hydropower. Together they produce 700 GWh per year in optimal hydrological conditions.

Hydropower project Kokel in the same area is under consideration.

Deal signed to expand concession agreement

The Albanian government and Statkraft, which also operates wind, solar and gas-fired power plants, signed an agreement for the expansion of the concession with a pumped storage hydroelectric plant. Preliminary studies showed a potential capacity of 800 MW to 1.6 MW. The project is called RP Moglica Shtesë, – additional pumped storage hydropower plant Moglica.

It would be the first facility of its kind in Albania. Pumped storage is for now the only conventional technology for storing electricity. Of note, hydroelectric plants still make up almost 100% of the country’s electricity production. The government is making efforts to diversify the mix with solar power and facilitate the construction of its first wind parks and gas-fired power plants.

The upper reservoir, with two rock-filled dams, would be eight kilometers east of the existing Moglica dam. A tunnel, which would connect it with the underground pumped storage hydropower plant, is envisaged to lead to the reservoir of hydroelectric plant Moglica. Its lower point would be four kilometers from the dam. The difference in height would be 620 meters, the document shows.

The feasibility study is scheduled to be completed next year. If the outcome is positive, the plan is to complete the new facility in 2030.

In comparison, Albania’s biggest three hydropower plants are on the Drin river. Together with Ashta 1 and 2, the last ones in the cascade, they have 1.4 GW in total capacity. A project is underway to build the Skavica hydropower plant upstream from the existing facilities. The planned capacity is 210 MW.

As for the rest of Southeastern Europe, pumped storage projects have also been launched in recent years in Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, Slovenia and Romania.

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