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Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme

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


Construction of the scheme started in 1974 and the last unit was put into commercial operation in 1981.
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.
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
Visitors Centre details:
Tel: (036) 438-2088  or (036) 438-2089
More information on the Visitors centre 
Plant Manager: Mr. Patrick Mhlongo
Tel: (036) 438-2020
Fax: (036) 438-2029

Downloadable .pdf map to Drakensberg and Ingula power stations.