The German company Max Boegl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy are collaborating on the first wind farm with an integrated hydropower plant.
The wind farm will have four of the world’s tallest wind turbines, 246.5 metres high when the blade is pointing straight up. The wind turbines will sit in a reservoir around their base, holding 34 million litres of water.
When the wind blow, part of the energy will be used to pump up to 6 million litres of water into a reservoir 40 metres tall within the wind turbine tower. When the wind stops, water will flow down to the base, generating hydroelectric power.
The wind farm will have the capacity to produce 13.6 megawatts from wind and 16 megawatts from the hydroelectric plant.
It is planned to connect to the grid in 2017, with the hydropower units being finished by the end of 2018. Max Boegl Wind has plans to build one to two new more wind-hydro projects in Germany annually after 2018 and possibly others in sites elsewhere around the world