Uniper has announced the recommissioning of the Happurg pumped storage plant near Nuremberg, with an investment of around €250 million. The plant, expected to be back online in 2028, will help stabilize southern Germany’s electricity supply by storing energy and balancing the fluctuating output from renewable sources.

“This investment is part of our previously announced strategy to invest in growth and transformation towards a greener business,” said Uniper CEO Michael Lewis. “We want 80 percent of our generation capacity to be carbon neutral by 2030, and the Happurg pumped storage plant will be an important strategic part of that.”

The 160MW plant, which was shut down in 2011 for safety reasons, will undergo extensive refurbishment. The plant can store approximately 850MWh of electricity, making it the largest of its kind in Bavaria. The refurbishment includes repairing the upper reservoir and overhauling the equipment in the powerhouse.

Holger Kreetz, Uniper COO, emphasized the company’s commitment to hydropower: “With the revitalisation of the Happurg pumped storage plant, we are expanding our hydropower portfolio. The operation of hydropower plants requires a high level of capital and skilled personnel. Uniper and its predecessor companies have proven over many decades that they can operate these plants safely, efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner.”

The project has received approval from the District Office of Nuremberg following a thorough feasibility study and planning approval procedure. The recommissioned plant aims to contribute significantly to grid stability and security of supply by providing fast, flexible, and efficient energy storage.

“Pumped storage is by far the most proven large-scale energy storage technology,” said Klaus Engels, Director of Hydropower at Uniper. “They are emission-free, inherently sustainable, and make an important contribution to grid stability and security of supply – enabling the integration of fluctuating solar and wind power and thus paving the way for the energy transition.”

Construction work on the Happurg plant will begin immediately, with operations scheduled to resume in 2028.