The Linthal pumped storage plant in Switzerland has been successfully synchronized to the grid, GE Renewable Energy and AXPO announced today.
The power plant - GE's first variable speed pumped storage plant to be entering the energy grid - has an output capacity of 1000MW and is an extension of the 450MW Linth Limmern hydro power plants operated by AXPO.
A series of tests are scheduled to take place at the plant over the next few months, before it enters commercial use in the spring 2016.
"Linthal is GE's first variable speed machine on the grid and brings positive momentum for the future of hydro power," commented Yves Rannou, CEO of GE's hydro business. "With variable speed in the game, GE proves that hydro is definitely a most reliable source of renewable energy on the grid. Hydro will lead the way to more flexibility for other sources of renewable power like solar and wind".
GE Renewable Energy is currently working on a number of variable speed units, including for the 900MW Nant de Drance hydropower plant in Switzerland and the 1000MW Tehri power plant in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.