By combining the technical expertise of WSP and Golder, a WSP company, our team of specialists can support your project from start to end. Our team is widely experienced in developing, delivering, assessing, rehabilitation, repowering, and maintaining new and existing pumped hydro and hydropower projects.
With technical, sustainable and future development considerations at the forefront of our thinking, our proven ability to provide the gold standard in client service helps us challenge the status quo to ensure we achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients and the community.
Engineering Future Ready Solutions for Operating and Managing Successful Hydropower Projects
In regions around the world, existing hydropower infrastructure is nearing the end of its asset lifecycle. To ensure the future viability of the renewable energy source, our clients need to decide whether building new infrastructure, retrofitting existing infrastructure or implementing new technologies at non-powered dams is the best way forward for them.
Our hydropower team can assist clients in understanding the feasibility of each option by providing engineering, environmental and advisory services to address current and future challenges through the entire asset lifecycle, including risk evaluation. We design Future Ready solutions that consider imminent trends such as climate change, population growth and even the synergies between electricity production and agriculture needs.
We provide our clients with custom tailored solutions for their projects, using our global expertise and local experience, spanning conventional and pumped hydro projects, including:
- dams and levees;
- and conveyance structures, including tunnels, pipelines and penstocks.
Future trends such as population growth and urbanisation, the increase of renewable energy generation, environmental concerns and the impact of climate change are likely to increase demand for hydropower.
Opportunities with pumped hydro energy storage technology for a clean energy future are plentiful, especially when combined with other renewables. For clients needing to enhance their grid stability, pumped hydro can act as a large rechargeable water battery that facilitates the integration of renewable hybrid solutions, such as wind or solar. This can help increase capacity and generate power when intermittent renewable sources are unavailable.
Pumped hydro can also improve energy efficiency and grid stability through ancillary services such as:
- voltage support and regulation;
- frequency response;
- spinning reserves;
- active and reactive power;
- emergency start-ups;
- quick and black-starts;
- and back-up reserves.
This creates a win-win situation for clients.
Our comprehensive experience combined with technical knowledge provides the cornerstone to our success in project delivery. From preliminary studies and assessments to complex multidisciplinary developments, we offer a complete range of engineering, program management and construction supervision, and environmental support services that span the complete life cycle of hydropower assets from the due diligence phase right through to the rehabilitation phase.
We offer our clients services across Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Geotechnics & Tunnelling, Transmission, Environmental, Social and Planning, and Quality Services.
Geotechnics and Tunnelling
The combination of WSP and Golder significantly enhances our technical capability, particularly in relation to ground engineering.
Our offering combines traditional geotechnical field, laboratory and engineering analysis, with engineering geophysics and geology. This is applied directly to designing solutions for key aspects of pumped hydro developments, including the reservoirs, penstock, powerhouse and access roads. Our experience in excavations and embankments leads to practical advice on material suitability for re-use, and to provide realistic assessment of the settlement of existing waste rock material.
Environmental, Social and Planning
WSP has one of Australia's largest environmental services teams with technical depth across disciplines such as planning and approvals, impact assessment, ecology, social and stakeholder engagement. Our environmental teams work closely with WSP’s engineering disciplines to ensure that environmental impacts from pumped hydro projects are well understood, and mitigation measures are incorporated into the project design.
Our teams have been engaged on client projects from the first screening stage through development to post-construction monitoring and auditing of project obligations to comply with various environmental and social requirements.
Turbines and Generators
Given that a large number of conventional hydropower assets in Australia have been in operation for over four decades, many turbine-generator units require significant refurbishment and, in some instances, must be entirely replaced.
We can help asset owners to make carefully considered choices by providing them with a comprehensive needs analysis that evaluates the future options available to them when managing their facilities and deciding whether to build new or retrofit current assets.
With over five decades of experience in the industry and a large team of staff spread globally, we have developed relationships with key clients and stakeholders. This includes relationships with the suppliers of hydroelectric equipment, specific for each stage of the project lifecycle, who can also provide independent verification of manufacturing processes for both new build and rehabilitation projects.
We work closely with asset owners from across the world to assist with upgrades and risk reduction on existing hydropower assets.
Our services cover the complete project life cycle, from strategic asset planning to design, contractor engagement, site supervision and warranty support. We support our clients for projects of any size, from a targeted protection upgrade to allow the safe continuation of ageing assets, upgrades of major balance of plant components or unit auxiliaries, or up to complete station mid-life refurbishments.
Our technical experts understand hydropower's nuances, including the need to adopt site-specific solutions suitable for the age and type of plant. This includes listening to and understanding the asset owner’s long-term plans for the future.
Dams and Water Retaining Structures and Dam Safety Assessments
Our rich understanding and knowledge of water retaining and intake structures combined with our multidisciplinary expertise in hydraulic, hydrological and geotechnical engineering helps us support the needs of our clients. Our global reach allows us to stay abreast of the latest tools, technology and industry standards in design, analysis and safety.
WSP offers comprehensive dam safety program support services, including safety training, safety evaluations, performance monitoring and surveillance, dam break analysis and potential failure mode and effects analysis, and facilitation. We also assist clients in implementing national regulatory risk-informed decision-making approaches alongside other standards.