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Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme

Location: In the Northern Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, close to the town of Bergville. 

History:

Construction of the scheme started in 1974 and the last unit was put into commercial operation in 1981.
 
General:
The Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme was designed to generate electricity for 10 hours with all 4 units per day, pump water back to the top dam for 9 hours with all 4 units per day. A pumped storage scheme generates electricity during peak hours, which is everyday when the demand of electricity rises. During the off-peak periods Drakensberg will use its reversible turbines to pump the water back to the upper reservoir, readying the system for peak periods.
 
The power station is also a joint venture between Eskom and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (the Tugela-Vaal Scheme) in the transfer of water from the Thukela River to the Vaal dam.
 
A special feature of the station is that it is constructed entirely underground with only a dam wall, lift shaft buildings and transmission lines visible at the surface. The four reversible pump turbines are situated 52 storeys below ground level.
 
Safety:
From 1999, Drakensberg has been awarded NOSCAR status by the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) for the eighth time in a row in 2007.
 
Technical details:
- 4 x 250MW generating sets
- Installed capacity 1000 MW
- Nominal operating head of 450m
- Average availability over last 3 years: 93, 88%
- Average production over last 3 years: 2041 GWh
- Average import (pumping) over last 3 years: 2766 GWh
 
Contact details:
Tel: (036) 438-2000
 
 
Plant Manager: Mr. Patrick Mhlongo
Tel: (036) 438-2020
Fax: (036) 438-2029

Downloadable .pdf map to Drakensberg and Ingula power stations.