First hydro pumped power project in the Gulf region

25 May 2021

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has contracted to supply Andritz Hydro with what is said to be state-of-the-art technology for grid connection and stabilisation at a unique pumped storage hydroelectric power plant, now under construction in the Hajar Mountains, 140 km southeast of the city of Dubai, in the UAE. 

The Hatta power station is a first-of-its-kind project in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region. It is being developed by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and will provide up to 250 MW of flexible energy when commissioned in early 2024. Hitachi ABB will deliver two AC excitation systems, based on power electronic converters. The systems will ensure variable speed operations of the reversible rotating units. Hitachi ABB will also supply an integrated solution to connect the plant to DEWA’s 132 kV network.  

This strategic project will help to diversify the energy mix in the UAE in line with goals set out in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy. This supports the goal of transforming Dubai into a global clean energy centre by 2050 and increasing the clean energy portion of Dubai’s energy mix to 75 % by 2050.  

The new power station comprises a lower reservoir near the Hatta (Al Hattawi) dam with a water capacity of 1716 million gallons, and an upper reservoir built into the mountain about 300 metres higher, with up to 880 million gallons storage capacity. During off-peak hours turbines will pump water about 4 km from the lower to the upper reservoir, using power drawn from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park. Stored water will be released to the lower reservoir turbines during peak-load hours.

The AC excitation technology uses a PCS8000 converter, enabling the machine to run at variable speed. This ensures optimal operational efficiency and variable power operation in pump mode without compromising transient behaviour of the machine. 

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