Paldiski hydro-pump electricity storage facility fully greenlit

Artist's impression of the Energiasalv facility's basic layout.
Artist's impression of the Energiasalv facility's basic layout. Source: Energiasalv Pakri.

All documentation and permissions are in place for a planned underground hydraulic-pump-based renewables energy generating facility near Paldiski, the company developing the project, Energiasalv, says, meaning the procurement process can start.

The facility is the first of its kind in Estonia.

Peep Siitam, Energiasalv board chair, said the initial construction procurement process will begin early next month, following permission granted from the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) given to the project late last year.

Sander Astor, technical manager at Energiasalv, said: "The goal is to complete the procurement process in 2023 and start construction of the project in the summer of 2024."

The facility will allow up to 6GWh of renewable energy, generated by pumping water from underground reservoirs into Paldiski Bay, to be stored within a 12 hour period, using a 550MW subterranean battery,

Should renewable energy (wind, solar) supply not meet demand, the facility is used to top this up, by extracting more seawater from the bay and into the reservoirs, and repeating the process.

Its total output is roughly comparable to the average daily domestic electricity consumption in Estonia.

Energiasalv's investors are AS Alexela, Sunly AS and Vool OÜ, and the company has received EU support via the Connecting Europe Facility.

The development required the construction of a small, artificial island of around 22,600 sq m above-water surface area, less than half the size of that originally planned, resulting from an environmental impact assessment.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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