Water: a source of electricity

ENGIE Electrabel operates 3 types of power plants that run on water:

  • Pumped-storage power stations (Coo)
  • Small run-of-river and dam hydroelectric power plants

Discover more about our hydroelectric power stations in our brochure on the Coo pumped storage plant (in French).

Coo pumped storage power station

A flexible and large-scale storage solution

For over 40 years (since 1972), the Coo power station has played a core role in our energy mix. It is vital to covering the growing need for flexibility triggered by the energy transition and the intermittent renewable energies. Coo’s maximum capacity totals 1,164 MW.

Pumped storage is currently the only way to store electricity on a large scale. In Belgium, the Coo station is therefore essential for the balance on the grid. The turbines can be started up at any time to offset a sudden drop in generation or to absorb excess electricity. As such, when demand is too low Coo stores the power generated elsewhere to restore it during peak consumption times.

An extension of Coo intended to boost its maximum capacity to 1,800 MW (an the installation of solar panels and wind turbines) is currently being studied (read the article in FR; watch the video).

A clean and beneficial technology

Did you know: when running at full capacity, the Coo power station can provide 1,164 MW for six hours, as much as a nuclear unit but with a start-up time of under two minutes.

How does Coo pumped-storage station work?

Schema UK_Coo_1330x500_ENG1

The small hydroelectric power stations

Engine room of the Bévercé hydroelectric power station

Engine room of the Bévercé hydroelectric power station

Discover more about our hydroelectric power stations in our brochure (in French)
Penstock between the hydroelectric dam Robertville and the power station Bévercé

Penstock between the hydroelectric dam Robertville and the power station Bévercé

Virtual tour of the Marèges dam operated by SHEM (subsidiary of ENGIE)

Run-of-river or dam power plants

Electrabel operates 10 run-of-river and dam power plants in the south-east of Belgium, primarily along the Warche and Amblève. These plants have a total capacity of 22 MW.

How does a dam hydroelectric power plant work?

16035_Schema UK_Barrage_1330x500_ENG3

Did you know: in addition to generating electricity, a dam/barrier lake can also be used as a reservoir as well as to regulate the reserves of drinking water and rises in water levels.

Do you want to know more, to share your point of view or to contact us?

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