November 18, 2021

New Tool To Aid Pumped Storage Hydropower Development

Step-by-step software helps estimate the value of services and project upgrades


Development and deployment of new pumped storage hydropower projects are a large undertaking. A new tool and guidebook helps calculate the value and services to better predict the full value potential for this type of hydropower.

(Image by gokturk_06 |

Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) currently accounts for 95% of all utility-scale energy storage in the United States. However, the development and deployment of new PSH projects is a large undertaking with high capital costs. This can seem daunting without the ability to calculate the value of PSH plants and their associated services.

That’s why the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office recently launched the Pumped Storage Hydropower Valuation Tool, a web-based tool that takes users through the steps of the valuation process presented in the Pumped Storage Valuation Guidebook. A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory was tasked with creating a platform that would aide users in going through the 15-step valuation process.

With the use of this tool, more developers will be able to accurately calculate the full value potential for a PSH project and the United States will hopefully see more PSH deployments. This tool is available free to the public and will, when used in concert with the guidebook, help stakeholders make decisions about funding, approving, and/or pursuing new or existing PSH project upgrades.

For more information, see the Department of Energy news release.


About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.