Meuse River: Utilizing Hydropower- and Energy Storage Potential

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The Meuse river has been made navigable for ships by the construction of a cascade of seven weirs. At only two weirs hydropower facilities exist. This implies the full hydropower potential of the Meuse cascade is not utilized. Rijkswaterstaat only provides additional permits when fish friendly turbines are used. By using pump-turbines the river sections upstream the weirs might be usable as energy storage reservoirs.
The objective of this thesis is to study if the full hydropower- and energy storage potential of the Meuse cascade can be utilized by the use of pump-turbines within Dutch environmental regulations. In order to meet the objective a conceptual design of a pumped-storage hydropower plant has been compiled. By using this design, an assessment of utilizing the full hydropower- and energy storage potential of the cascade has been carried out. For the assessment a numerical model has been constructed and applied.
The cumulative installed turbine capacity for the cascade is 81 MW. The annual energy yield on hydropower is 225 GWh. The annual energy yield on pumped-stored power is 77 GWh. Up to 75.000 households can be powered with hydropower and pumped-stored power. When the Juliana canal is included in the assessment up to 131.000 households can be powered using an installed capacity of 134 MW.