Romania, Transelectrica advocates for pump-storage HPP Tarnita-Lapustesti construction

, SEE Energy News

Romanian electricity transmission system operator Transelectrica argues in favor of the construction of a 1,000 MW pump-storage hydropower system Tarnita-Lapustesti, a project which was is planning since 1980s, but was abandoned in 2015, when the feasibility study showed potential issues with the plant’s profitability.

The Tarnita-Lapustesti pump-storage projects was estimated to cost up to one billion euros.

Transelectrica argues that, in addition to delivering balancing services to producers delivering constant power, such as Romania’s nuclear power plant Cernavoda, such a facility would also enhance the country’s energy security.

The latest version of the Romania’s National Energy Strategy, recently put into public debate, does not mention the Tarnita-Lapustest project individually but generally refers to pump-storage hydropower plants. According to the draft Strategy, after 2030, pump-storage hydropower plants will become appropriate in the capacity mix in all scenarios analyzed. The scenarios estimate pump-storage capacities of around 1,000 MW in 2050, with variations between 850 MW and 1,100 MW. The scenarios in which the estimated need for hydro capacity with pump-storage is the highest are those with ambitious decarbonization program.

HPP Tarnita-Lapustesti project envisages the construction of pump-storage hydropower plant with the output of 1,000 MW (4×250 MW). The power plant will be built 30 kilometers northwest from Cluj-Napoca. This power plant is supposed to help adjust the imbalances in Romanian energy system caused by the increased production of renewable energy, which is not constant. This plant could act both as a producer and a consumer of electricity, depending on the needs of the system. In 2016, it was announced that three Chinese companies: China Gezhouba Group, China Huadian Engineering and Huaneng Lancang River Hydropower have formed a consortium and submitted a preliminary bid on the tender for the construction of this HPP.