The Yongtai pumped storage power project located in the Fujian province of China comprises four generating units for a total capacity of 1.2GW.

Fujian Yongtai Mintou Pumped Storage Company is developing the facility with an estimated investment of £740m ($970m). It is a joint venture company owned by Fujian Investment and Development Group (51%), Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Company (40%), and Yongtai County Urban Investment Industrial Group (9%).

The main construction works on the hydropower station were started in December 2018, while the first generating unit is expected to be operational by 2022 with the full commissioning of the facility expected by August 2023.

Once fully operational, the Yongtai pumped storage hydropower station is expected to generate 1.2 billion kWh of electricity annually, while offsetting 416,000 tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Location and site details

The Yongtai pumped storage hydropower project is located in the Baiyun Township of Yongtai County, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China.

The project site lies 37km away from Fuzhou and 60km from Putian, while the Quanzhou and the cities are located 120km and 192km away, respectively.

Yongtai pumped storage facility make-up

The Yongtai pumped storage hydroelectric facility will comprise upper and lower reservoirs, a water delivery system, an underground powerhouse, and a ground switchyard station.

The underground powerhouse will measure 170m-long, 24.5m-wide, and 54.7m-high. It will be equipped with four single-stage, mixed-flow, reversible pump-turbine units of 300MW capacity each. The rated head for the pump storage units will be 416m.

Reservoirs and water delivery system

The upper reservoir comprises a main earth-rock type dam, four secondary dams, reservoir banks, and water inlets and outlets along with roads around the reservoir.

The dam crest elevation of the main dam is 660m while the wall crest is about 661m. The dam crest is 230m-long, 34m-high, and 8m-wide. Of the four secondary dams, the west auxiliary dam is approximately 30m-high and the north auxiliary dam is 17.5m-high, while the east and northwest auxiliary dams are less than 10m-high.

The effective storage capacity of the upper reservoir is 7.66 million cubic metres (mcm), while the normal storage level is 657m and the dead water level is 637m.

The lower reservoir includes a concrete gravity dam, lower reservoir banks, along with water inlets and outlets structures.

The water delivery system for the project comprises a two-hole, four-machine water supply system. The water diversion system consists of two-stage inclined wells with two diversion penstocks connected to four branch pipes.

Infrastructure facilities

The other infrastructure facilities for the Yongtai power plant includes an access tunnel, ventilation and safety tunnel, branch tunnel, and transit reroute highway.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the 1.2GW Yongtai pumped-storage hydropower facility will be evacuated into the Fujian power grid through a 500kV power transmission line.

Contractors involved

The 14th Bureau of China Water Resources and Hydropower was awarded a contract worth £30.47m ($39.66m) for electrical and mechanical installation work for the Yongtai power plant in February 2020.

State Grid Fujian Electric Power was engaged for the environmental impact assessment for the 500kV transmission project for the Yongtai hydropower project in 2019.

The 16th Hydropower Bureau won a contract worth £50.30m ($61.85m) for construction of the upper reservoir in September 2019.

China’s 16th Bureau of Hydropower was awarded a contract worth £31.45m ($40.81m) by Fujian Yongtai Mintou Pumped Storage Company for the civil construction and metal installation works for the lower reservoir in September 2018.

It was also awarded a contract for the construction of the underground powerhouse in September 2016.

Dongfang Electric was contracted for the supply of four pump-turbine units along with auxiliary equipment for the Yongtai pumped storage power project in March 2018.

The East China Survey, Design and Research Institute was engaged for the preparation of the environmental impact assessment report for the pumped storage power project.