Historic Swiss pumped storage plant receives £200mn upgrade

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Technology group Voith is to design, fabricate, install and commission a replacement facility at the Ritom pumped storage power plant in Switzerland. The original plant at Ritom dates back to 1920 – the illustration shows an impression of the new plant.

The four Pelton turbines currently in use, with a combined output of 44 MW, will be replaced by two Pelton 60 MW turbines and a 60 MW storage pump at a cost of approximately £200mn.

The 60 MW capacity storage pump, with a delivery head of more than 700 m, will pump the water for reservoir management and to provide balancing power from the Airolo basin to Lake Ritom. The pump and turbines will provide fast and flexible grid regulation and stabilisation. 

The facility is highly important for the region, as it powers the local rail network and supplies electricity to the Ticino region. The new plant is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2023.

Photo: Voith

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