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Richard B. Russell Pumped Storage

Technology Type Open-loop Pumped Hydro Storage
Rated Power 600000 kW
URL More about Richard B. Russell Pumped Storage
The Richard B. Russell Dam enables a unique capability within the Savannah River Basin as a provider of “pumpback” hydropower. Pumpback turbines are reversible, so they allow the system to re-use water stored in the reservoir system multiple times. This capability is especially helpful during hot, dry summers when the facility can provide more peak-demand electricity with the same amount of water again and again. The pumpback units are typically operated seven days a week but only during the night. By pumping back at night-time, the system maximizes the benefit to taxpayers because night-time electricity costs about a third less than day-time electricity (due to decreased power demand). Starting about one hour after sunset, the designated generators are switched into pumpback mode. Once they reverse direction, these units pull water from below the Russell Dam (in the upper portion of Thurmond Lake) and pump it back upstream into Russell Lake. Then, the next day during peak power demands, electricity is generated by releasing that water back down into Thurmond Lake.
This data has been validated by project staff through a review of publicly available information about the project, and verified by the project owner.
Project Status
Status Operational
Commissioning On 01.01.1985
Project Includes Multiple Systems No

Richard B. Russell Lake, Georgia
United States

Utility Type
Paired Grid Resource Transmission
Project Includes Multiple Systems No
Ownership & Value Chain Partners
Ownership Model Third-Party-Owned
Equity Owner 1 US Army Corps. of Engineers
Equity Owner 1 Percent 100%
O&M Contractor Southeastern Power Administration
Developer US Army Corps. of Engineers
Cost & Performance
Performance Performance metrics not available.
Capital Expenditure $137900000
Service Use Case Electric Energy Time Shift
Electric Supply Capacity
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