Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

84th Thomas Lowe Gray lecture: The role of pumped storage in keeping our lights on

16 May 2012

Pumped storage has been used to store electricity since the 1890s, and from the middle of the 20th century it has played an important role in many power grids

Traditional roles for pumped storage include load shaping and fast pick-ups. Our power systems are now changing; some base load generation is being phased out; new intermittent and predictable generators are being introduced; old transmission systems are suffering strain. The nature of demand is predicted to change with the development of smart metering and electric transport.
This lecture considers pumped storage: how it works, what it does and the role it can play in keeping the lights on.

Presenter: Mike McWilliams, Mott MacDonald
Mike McWilliams is the global Head of Hydropower for consultancy firm Mott MacDonald. The company is a £1 billion global management, engineering and development consultancy operating in a diverse range of sectors including power and energy.

Mike graduated in civil engineering from the University of Edinburgh in 1978, and has worked throughout his career in consultancy, including a period of 12 years in Africa and South East Asia. The international nature of this business has taken him to over 60 countries around the world.

The great majority of Mike's work has been in power and renewable energy, and his specialisations include power planning and the commercial development of hydropower and pumped storage.



: Mike McWilliams, Mott MacDonald

Duration: 1hour 15minutes