Today, we have 2 GW of hydro capacity in Germany. We also have 1.6 GW in Sweden. Our hydro capacity enables us to meet the growing demand — particularly in the utility, automotive, food, and high-tech industries — for certified green power. It’s dispatchable as well, which means that it can help provide backup for the fluctuating output of wind and solar farms. We’ve also added battery storage systems to two of our hydro plants in Sweden, while two additional ones will be added in 2022. This will enable them to help control frequency deviations in the system even more precisely.
Pump up the power
Pumped-storage hydro plants are currently the only technology capable of efficiently storing large amounts of electricity. They’re also extremely flexible and can therefore swiftly balance out fluctuations and maintain grid voltage. And, unlike most power plants, they don’t need electricity from the grid to start themselves. In an outage, they can restart other power plants and help get the lights back on.
Fast lanes for fish
Hydro plants produce 100% clean electricity and will thus remain a key ingredient in tomorrow’s carbon-neutral energy mix. But operating them also gives us the responsibility to be a conscientious environmental steward to the flora and fauna nearby. To fish, for example, hydro plants are insurmountable obstacles. That’s why nearly all our run-of-river plants offer fish an alternate route — a man-made creek a fish pass or fish ladder — enabling them and other water dwellers to get around the plant safely. Nature conservancy projects at our other hydro plants include breeding grounds for fish and birds, habitats for eels, and spawning grounds for salmon.