For the first time in twelve years, Vattenfall plans to build new hydro power in four Swedish locations that are already home to hydro power plants. In total, the project will provide 720 megawatts of new hydro capacity, assuming a decision to invest is made.
Vattenfall plans for new hydropower with a possible capacity of a total of 720 MW, which could be built starting from 2026 and into the 2030s. Pre studies are now being conducted to prepare for an upcoming investment decision.
“It is truly a pleasure to announce our plans to build new hydro power in Sweden. If these projects are in fact put in motion, it will mean a substantial increase in output when we need it the most. This is necessary to meet the rising demand for fossil-free electricity, which is a must if we are to reach our climate goals. Hydro-power reservoirs are Sweden’s green batteries and by adding new flexibility and balancing capabilities, we are paving the way for a greater proportion of wind and solar power in the electrical system,” says Johan Dasht, Head of Vattenfall’s Hydro Power Operations in the Nordics.
Four projects are planned. Together, they will add 720 MW of hydro power generation:
- At the Harsprånget power station on the Lule älv river, the plan is to renew and reinstate a unit that is currently out of operation. Potential of up to 110 MW. The decision to invest is planned for 2024 and commercial operation in 2026.
- At the Porjus power station on the Lule älv river in Norrbotten, there are plans to increase water flow and generation. Potential of up to 80 MW. The decision to invest is planned for 2026 and commercial operation before 2031.
- A pilot study is underway to investigate reinstating the Juktan power station on the Storjuktan lake adjacent to the Umeälven river in Västerbotten, to a pumped storage plant with a potential of up to 380 MW. The decision to invest is planned for 2027 and commercial operation would start in 2031. Juktan was once Sweden’s largest pumped storage plant and was operational 1979-1996.
- At the Messaure power station on the Lule älv river, there are plans for a fourth unit. Potential of up to 150 MW. The decision to invest is planned for 2028 and commercial operation in 2032.
Aside from adding energy to the system, hydro power also will play a substantial role in balancing the electrical system as weather-dependent wind power is being expanded. Hydro power can generate fossil-free electricity during times with less wind and store energy by filling the water reservoirs when other sources are generating energy.
“Vattenfall strives to continue developing hydro power to meet the increased demand. Its great capacity to store energy in dams and its capacity for control are enormous assets. In the pre studies, we will analyse the consequences on the environment, technology and the impact on local stakeholders. And, where appropriate, we will also consult with those affected,” says Johan Dasht.
In Sweden, there is about 16,000 MW of hydro power. Of this, Vattenfall operates just over half, approx. 8,500 MW, annually producing 65 TWh of fossil-free electrical power.