E.ON announced plans to build another 300 MW pumped-storage facility next to the existing Waldeck 2 facility in Germany. Similar to Waldeck 2, the new facility will also have an underground turbine room. The new facility will take about 4 years to be built, starting from 2012, when the company is planning to begin construction.
Once completed, the new Waldeck facility will bring the total installed capacity at the Waldeck complex to 920 MW, which is about 15% of Germany's tota pumped-storage capacity. The whole extension project is estimated to cost about EUR 250 million. E.ON has submitted necessary applications and consents documents, and is now waiting for final approval by the Hesse state government in Kassel. Approval is expected in late 2011, meaning the company would actually be able to begin construction in 2012 as planned.
Pumped-storage is deemed as probably the most important renewable energy resource for providing not only additional and stable clean electricity supply, but also the solution for the power back-up needed for other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, which are intermittent in nature, and are prone to drops in power generation capability due to their dependency on weather conditions (lack of wind, low insolation, nighttime, etc). A pumped-storage facility can easily compensate for drops in power supply, keeping the future "clean" power grid stable, and ultimately, the consumers "happy".