Toshiba said that its Chinese consolidated subsidiary, Toshiba Hydro Power (THPC), has bagged a contract to supply four 320MW pumped storage hydroelectric power plant systems to CSG Power Generation Company of China.

The systems will be installed at Qingyuan Pumped Storage Power Station in Guangdong Province. THPC will supply the pumped-turbines, generator-motors and associated equipment. The installation will start in January 2012, and the first unit is expected to be commissioned in October 2014.

Pumped storage hydroelectric generation supports electric utilities in load balancing to meet fluctuations in electricity demand. Energy is essentially stored as water that drives the generators. During times of low demand, typically at night, the water is pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. It is released to flow into a waterway and to drive the turbines during times of peak demand, the company said.

According to the company, China’s electricity market is expected to see a large increase in base load power demand, driven by strong economic growth, and the country is responding with a power plant construction program, including plans for nuclear power generation.

The load balancing made possible by pumped storage hydro power generation makes it an important part of the power generation mix, and construction of 15 plants over the next five year is expected to boost installed capacity to over 34GW in 2015, twice the level of last year, the company said.