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2021-05-27 - Article/Dans un journal avec peer-review - Anglais - 17 page(s)

Poulain Angélique, Pujades Estanislao, Goderniaux Pascal , "Hydrodynamical and Hydrochemical Assessment of Pumped-Storage Hydropower (PSH) Using an Open Pit: The Case of Obourg Chalk Quarry in Belgium" in Applied Sciences

  • Edition : MDPI, Basel (Switzerland)
  • Codes CREF : Hydrogéologie (DI1426)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Géologie fondamentale et appliquée (F401)
  • Instituts UMONS : Institut des Sciences et du Management des Risques (Risques), Institut de Recherche en Energétique (Energie)
Texte intégral :

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) enables the temporary storage of energy, including from intermittent renewable sources, and provides answers to the difficulties related to the mismatch between supply and demand of electrical energy over time. Implementing a PSH station requires two reservoirs at different elevations and with large volumes of water. The idea of using old, flooded open-pit quarries as a lower reservoir has recently emerged. However, quarries cannot be considered as impervious reservoirs, and they are connected to the surrounding aquifers. As a result, PSH activities may entail environmental impacts. The alternation of the pumping–discharge cycles generates rapid and periodic hydraulic head fluctuations in the quarry, which propagate into the surrounding rock media forcing the exchange of water and inducing the aeration of groundwater. This aeration can destabilize the chemical balances between groundwater and minerals in the underground rock media. In this study, two numerical groundwater models based on the chalk quarry of Obourg (Belgium) were developed considering realistic pumping–discharge scenarios. The aim of these models was to investigate the hydrodynamic and hydrochemical impact of PSH activities on water inside the quarry and in the surrounding rock media. Results showed that (1) water exchanges between the quarry and the adjacent rock media have a significant influence on the hydraulic head, (2) the frequency of the pump–discharge scenarios influence the potential environmental impacts, and (3), in the case of chalk formations, the expected impact of PSH on the water chemical composition is relatively limited around the quarry. Results highlight that those hydrogeological and hydrochemical concerns should be assessed when developing a project of a PSH installation using a quarry as a lower reservoir, considering all particularities of the proposed sites.