Pumped-Storage Development Project in the Manara Cliff, Israel
Pumped storage is a form of renewable energy based on hydropower. A pumped storage power plant is capable of generating electric energy on demand, and is one of the oldest technologies used for energy storage. The technology has been in use for more than 100 years, providing over 100,000 MW around the world.
The technology allows storing available energy for later use. The pumped storage technology stores energy during low demand periods and releases it during peak demand periods, thereby utilizing the gap in production costs in order to stabilize the grid's voltage and regulation.
A pumped storage plant is a hydro-storage system comprised of upper and lower water reservoirs, connected by an underground water pressure pipe: during low demand - pumping water from the lower reservoir for energy storage, and during peak demand - releasing water from the upper reservoir for energy production. The technology utilizes excess manufacturing ability during low demand hours in order to increase supply during peak demand hours, thus providing available reserve to be used by the grid dispatcher during peak and low demand periods.
Pumped storage also allows optimal grid stability functionality by providing a combination of low latency, high power and high energy response (~90 sec).
Ellomay owns 75% of the companies involved in the development of the pumped-storage plant in the Manara Cliff, located in Northern Israel, south of the town of Kiryat-Shmona, with a capacity of 156 MW. According to the current construction plans of the pumped storage project, the plant will be based on water reservoirs built on agricultural land. The upper water reservoir will be located near Kibbutz Manara and the lower water reservoir will be based on an existing reservoir near Kiryat-Shmona.
Ellomay Manara entered into land lease option agreements with land owners, in order to secure land use rights for the duration of the construction phase and the commercial operation of the plant, and a water supply agreement with the Galil Elyon Water Association, in order to secure water supply for the project for the duration of the commercial operation.
Ellomay PS, the project company, also performed geological and hydrology surveys, and an environmental impact assessment.
In August 2016, Ellomay PS received a conditional license for a pumped storage plant with a capacity of 340 MW, after the initial development stage, including receiving a feasibility survey from IEC, was finalized. On December 4, 2017, the Israeli Public Utilities Authority - Electricity announced the reduction of the conditional license from 340 MW to 156 MW. The financial closing of the Manara Project is subject to the availability of a quota for pumped storage plants and the general quota set forth by the Israeli Electricity Authority for pumped-storage projects in Israel is currently set at 800 MW, while conditional licenses issued are in excess of such quota.