ABB has won a $120m (£73m) order from Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern (KLL) to supply electrical equipment for a new hydropower plant and energy storage facility in eastern Switzerland.
The Linth-Limmern pumped-storage hydropower station will be installed in an underground cavern in the Linthal valley. The facility will be used to pump water from the lower reservoir (the Limmernsee) in the valley to the upper reservoir (the Muttsee), 600m above the station. During peak demand, water will be released from the upper reservoir to generate power.
The project will help to meet future demand across Switzerland and the first of four generating units is expected to be operational by 2015.
ABB will provide electrical equipment, including transformers, medium-voltage switchgears and instrumentation and automation systems. It will also provide a 380kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation, which will help to feed power from the plant into the grid.
Pumped-storage facilities offer the most effective opportunity for large-scale energy storage in terms of both cost and environmental impact. The ability to tap into stored reserves during periods of higher demand improves the reliability of power supplies.
KLL, a partnership between energy utility Axpo and the Swiss canton of Glarus, produces 460 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. It manages a complex of hydropower stations and the new facility will boost its total capacity almost fourfold to about 1,460MW.
ABB is already involved in a related project for KLL and is supplying two turnkey substations and auxiliary power equipment for the nearby Tierfehd hydropower plant.