Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Probe hole drillings to scrutinise feasibility of underground energy storage in Eastern Hungary

Probe hole drillings have recently started in Eastern Hungary to scrutinise the possibility and feasibility of underground energy storage (UES) systems in the Hungarian regions of Borsod and Heves.

To balance the natural power production fluctuation of renewable energy sources that are strongly dependent on weather changes, many countries use UES systems with pumped energy storage power plants. For decades, Hungary has been toying with the idea of developing such a facility. Finally, a feasibility study (FS) has been underway since March.

During springtime, hole drilling samplings and geophysical measurements on the ground have been taking place at two sites in Borsod and Heves regions, which will provide basic scientific and technical information for the FS. Near the town of Markaz, Heves county, probe hole drills and measurements have been conducted since March 2024, while geodesic probe hole drills just started recently in the vicinity of Kazincbarcika, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county.

During the last decade, Hungary has been constructing a remarkable, larger-than-country-size solar photo-voltaic (PV) panel and wind farm capacity. However, the power production capacity of these renewable energy sources, as mentioned above, is strongly dependent on weather changes. Therefore, green electricity production capacity has a strong fluctuation accordingly.

This production fluctuation has to be harmonised with the daily changes in industrial and residential electricity consumption. Effective harmonisation of production and consumption can be achieved through the clean storage of green electricity. Thus, pumped energy storage (PES) has already been used worldwide for the harmonisation of power production and consumption, securing a reliable energy system.

The first Hungarian PES system is planned to have a power capacity of 600 megawatts (MW), producing electricity for six hours, during which the water flows down from the upper to the lower reservoir. Moreover, in order to adhere to responsible water management regulations, floating solar panels would cover parts of the surface of the reservoir to limit and mitigate water evaporation.

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