Environmental Impacts of Pumped Storage Hydro Power Plants
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Massive development of new renewable energy sources is taking place all over the world in 21st century and Europe is not an exception. Wind turbine parks are being planned and built on shore, in coastal zones and in the seas of European countries.With such a development of renewable sources comes a challenge of stable and continuous supply of electrical power which meets the demand. Renewable energy sources often have power output which cannot be easily regulated according to demand, but are rather fully dependent on forces in nature, such as a wind speed for wind power turbines, or solar radiation for photovoltaic solar modules. This problem has to be handled in order to ensure the safe and reliable operation of electricity grid in the future, which is capable of connecting the renewable energy input.This thesis is a continuation of suitability exploration of a current Norwegian hydropower system as so called the Green battery of Europe. This balancing system could secure the planned European wind power projects during situations when the production is larger than the demand by storing energy in upper reservoirs using pumping storage hydropower. During conditions when the demand is larger than generated energy the extra input can be produced by Norwegian hydropower system as well.The specific focus of this thesis is on evaluating the potential environmental impacts on Totak reservoir in Telemark county in Norway, caused by development of pumping storage hydropower. This hydropower plant is considered as a part of the system balancing the power output from TradeWind project, which is a wind power capacity scenario project for year 2030 consisting of 94,6GW of installed capacity in the North Sea in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, UK, Netherlands and Norway.During the work in this thesis, model of pumping storage hydropower plant between Totak and Songavatnet reservoirs was used to calculate characteristics of operation as water level fluctuation characteristics, transferred water volumes and other characteristics for two variants of installed power output within period of 2000-2006.Results of the pumping model were used to model the changes in temperature regime and ice formation of Totak reservoir. This was done by MyLake model developed by Norwegian Institute for Water Research in Oslo and further modified at NTNU for usage in reservoirs. With this so called MyLakeR model I modelled the temperature regime and ice cover in period of 2000-2006 for both current situation and situation after developing the pumping storage hydropower.This thesis provides the required complete hydrological forcing from pumping storage hydropower plant to the environment. Actual evaluation of impacts is often dependent on particular data which has to be collected on site, therefore only evaluation of potential impacts was done when the relevant data were available.Pumping model has proven to be a powerful and reliable tool. MyLakeR model showed that the modification done on a lake model allows successful modelling on more complex sites such as Totak reservoir. It also showed that for an ice routine of the model there is a need for further adjustments in order to model the ice cover regime affected by pumping storage hydropower.