Abstract

It is anticipated that utilizing the underground space in abandoned mines to build and operate pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) plants can reduce capital investment and geological constraints. However, there are currently few detailed investigations into techno-economic feasibility except for conceptual studies. In this paper, an underground coal mine in Guizhou, China was used as a reference, and the PSH layout was designed; in addition, the head loss, plant efficiency, and major cost components were investigated. The calculation results show that the capital investment of mine-based PSH was 33–50% less than that of conventional PSH. Sensitivity analysis found a clear influence of coal seam inclination on the performance of the mine-based PSH. Under the assumed conditions, the plant cycle efficiency increased from 62.7% to 71.5% when the coal seam dip varied from 5 deg to 25 deg. Depending on different price scenarios, when the coal seam inclination was steep enough, the cost of energy storage of a mine-based PSH plant was competitive compared with conventional PSH, and the plant could even become profitable. The influence of the dip of coal seam was more pronounced when in the lower range (5–15 deg) than the higher range (15–25 deg).

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