Gulf’s 1st hydroelectric pump project to be aided by Hitachi via integrated solutions

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Hitachi ABB PV
Representational Image

The global technology leader Hitachi ABB Power Grids will provide ANDRITZ Hydro with state-of-the-art technology for grid connection and stabilization for a unique pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant which is under construction in the Hajar Mountains, 140-kilometers southeast of the city of Dubai.

In the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region, the Hatta pumped-storage power station is a first-of-its-kind project. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is building it and, when it is completed in early 2024, will generate up to 250 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable and flexible electricity.

Integrated solutions

Hitachi ABB Power Grids will deliver two AC excitation systems based on power electronic converters, using its vast experience in grid connections and power electronics. The systems will allow the reversible rotating units to operate at different speeds. The company will also provide an integrated solution for the plant’s connection to DEWA’s 132 kV network.

This strategic project will contribute to the diversification of the UAE’s energy mix, in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy’s goals. This supports Dubai’s objective of becoming a global clean energy center by 2050, with clean energy accounting for 75 percent of the city’s energy mix.

Dr. Mostafa AlGuezeri Image
Dr. Mostafa AlGuezeri
MD – Hitachi ABB Power Grids

“We are honored to be part of the development of the Arabian Gulf’s first hydropower plant. Hitachi ABB Power Grids can deliver engineered packages as well as advanced solutions to support the Emirate’s sustainability goals, accelerating the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future with technologies that will benefit society.”

A lower reservoir near the Hatta (Al Hattawi) dam with 1,716 million gallons of water capacity and an upper reservoir dug into the mountain about 300 meters higher with up to 880 million gallons of water storage capacity make up the pumped-storage hydroelectric power station.

Using power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, turbines will pump water around 4 kilometers from the lower to the upper reservoir during off-peak hours. Stored water will be released to the lower reservoir during peak-load hours, causing turbines to quickly generate electricity to satisfy peak demand.

The state-of-the-art technology provided to ANDRITZ Hydro, that includes a PCS8000 converter for AC excitation, allowing the machine to function at different speeds. This allows maximum operating efficiency and variable power operation in pump mode while preserving the machine’s transient nature.

Related: UAE can offer low-cost, low-carbon energy as demand grows: Dr. Al Jaber