Toshiba Announces Shipment of Major Components for Ludington Pumped Storage Hydro Power Plant – Jun 04, 2013– Tokyo, Japan (Techreleased) – Toshiba Corporation oday announced that Toshiba Hydro Power (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. (THPC), a subsidiary in China, has manufactured and shipped the world’s largest hydroelectric pump turbine for a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant to the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant in the United States. The hydroelectric pump turbine, the first of six that THPC will supply, weighs approximately 260 metric tons and has a diameter of about 8.4 meters.

Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant
Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant

Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan was completed in 1973 and was then the world’s largest pumped storage hydro power plant. In February 2011, Toshiba International Corporation (TIC), Toshiba’s social infrastructure subsidiary in the United States, was awarded a contract to upgrade the facility and to boost its capacity and operating efficiency. Under the terms of the contract, TIC will replace all six pump turbines at the plant.

Design and engineering of the new pump turbines was done at Toshiba Keihin Product Operations in Yokohama, Japan, and the major components are being manufactured at THPC in China. Installation work will be carried out by TIC’s subsidiary, Hydro Power Services, LLC, and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.

Pumped power storage hydro power plants pump water from a lower elevation to a reservoir during times of low demand and use it to drive turbines and generate electricity to meet peak demand. Ludington pumps water from Lake Michigan to a reservoir 4km long and 1.6 km wide and delivers it to the turbines via penstocks (sluices) that are 340 meters long. The current capacity of the plant is 312MW and following the renovation that will rise to approximately 360MW.

In upgrading the plant and extending its life, Toshiba is employing a state-of-the-art model testing facility and analysis technology to optimize output.

Toshiba recognizes hydro power generation as an important power source, alongside nuclear, thermal and geothermal power, in respect of securing an optimized energy mix. Looking to the future, the company will continue to promote its hydro power business in the key markets including North America, South America, China, India and Southeast Asia.