Global design and engineering firm SMEC has been engaged by contractor Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) to provide detailed engineering and project management services for the 500 MW (4 x 125 MW) Kundah Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in India. The state agency - Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd - is the project proponent and asset owner.
As a pumped storage scheme located in the Nilgiris hills of the Tamil Nadu state, the project will provide peaking benefits by utilising the existing reservoir at Porthimund as the upper reservoir and Emerald as the lower reservoir, explained SMEC in its announcement.
“This project is one of the largest pumped storage electricity generating schemes in Tamil Nadu,” said Neeta Arora, director of SMEC Design Centre (India). “The Indian government has committed to a significant increase in power system flexibility, ensuring grid stability and avoiding power shortages. This provides a great opportunity for further hydropower development in the region, an area where SMEC has many decades of experience and a broad project portfolio.”
She added, “Sometimes referred to as the world’s ‘water battery’, pumped hydropower storage provides a more sustainable source of renewable energy and increasingly supports the needs of changing power systems. Pumped storage projects currently account for 94% of installed global energy storage capacity.”
SMEC further mentioned that according to the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) 2020 Hydropower Status Report, India has overtaken Japan as the world’s fifth largest hydropower producer, with its total installed capacity now standing at over 50 GW.