May 27, 2024
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Croatia: HEP plans to build a pumped storage hydropower plant Blaca

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The Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development is assessing the environmental impact of the planned pumped storage hydropower project Blaca. Energy utility HEP Group submitted the project via its subsidiary HEP-proizvodnja.

In addition to its basic purpose, the investment aims to improve flood protection by mitigating the effect of the episodes of surges in the Cetina River, increasing irrigation and facilitating the operation of the Orlovac hydropower plant even when water levels are high, the ministry said.

The turbine mode capacity would be 498 MW and the pumps would work at a maximum of 489 MW, HEP revealed in its request for impact assessment. In the pump mode, the system would consume excess electricity from wind power plants and solar parks to draw water from the lower reservoir, Gala, into the upper one, called Blaca. When demand in the electricity system rises above the supply, pumped-storage HPP switches on the turbines to turn the potential energy of the water from the upper lake into electricity.

The location is in Sinjsko Polje in the municipality of Otok in Split-Dalmatia county. It would take the area from below the Gala village in the Galjsko polje plain to the Blaca valley on the slopes of the Kamešnica mountain, according to the documentation.

Several years ago, before the launch of the environmental impact assessment study, the investment was estimated at up to EUR 790 million.

The ministry noted that the pumps would consume an average of 1.29 TWh per year while the turbines would generate 986 GWh. The calculation implies eight hours of operation in pump mode per day and six hours of production for 11 months per annum. The remaining time is for overhauls and inspections, Balkan Green Energy News reports.


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