First pumped-storage hydropower plant opened


The hydropower plant at Frunzaru, Olt County, will be the major pillar of a unique experiment in Romania for a month, as of Friday, as the first pumped-storage hydropower plant has been put into operation here, said on Friday Remus Borza, Hidroelectrica administrator, during the opening conference. After the 30 days they will decide whether the experiment is viable to be maintained and funded. Minister of Energy Razvan Nicolescu along with county officials were present at the event.
Major investments were necessary so that the hydropower plant at Frunzaru should become operational, which included other hydropower plants on Lower Olt River, the units at Ipotesti, Draganesti, Rusanesti and Izbiceni, all included in Hidrocentrale Ramnicu Valcea branch of Hidroelectrica Company. The total amount paid for the technological upgrade is EUR 400 million.
Borza added that, through its functions, the tech upgrade of the “multitude” of hydropower stations on Lower Olt is a technical premiere in Romania because the pumping function was gained by operating the first turbine-pump reversible assemblies in Romania, providing an available power of MW 285 in turbine and MW 200 in pumping. He stressed that such an investment must be covered normally over 22 years and claims the generation-pumping operation has an average production cost of RON 450 per MWh, which is huge compared to the current market average (RON 160 to 170 per MWh.)
As for Minister of Energy Razvan Nicolescu he said this is a first time not only for Romania but also for the EU. “We put Olt County on the map of Europe and Romania itself with a new technological accomplishment. It is something we should be proud of,” said Nicolaescu. The Minister of Energy believes the issue of water price in our country compared to other countries should be organized during a debate, to see where Romania stands considering that we will be soon on a regional market.

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