Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme

drakensberg pumped storage system

drakensberg pumped storage system

The Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme is an energy storage facility built in the Northern Drakensberg near to Oliviershoek Pass. The Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme provides for up to 27.6 GWh of electricity storage in the form of 27,000,000 cubic metres (950,000,000 cu ft) of water. The water is pumped to Driekloof during times of low national power consumption (generally over weekends) and released back into Kilburn Dam through four 250 MW turbine generators in times of high electricity demand. 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 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 stories below ground level.

Guided tours of the Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme  are offered – These guided tours are particularly  useful for school groups.

Guided tours begin at the Drakensberg Visitors Centre with a presentation providing an introduction to Eskom followed by a detailed overview of the operational function of the power station.  An interactive exhibition and brochures provide further information.  The visit continues with a site tour to the station, which includes viewing the Valve Hall and the Machine Hall.  The visit showcases South Africa’s technology and business capability.  The diversity of engineering disciplines involved in the construction and operation of the power station, make the visit of interest to a wide spectrum of audiences.

The Visitors Centre opening hours for viewing the displays are from Monday to Friday as follows:

Monday – Thursday 7:00-16:00   Friday 7:00-12:00

Guided tours are conducted Monday to Thursday 9:00 or 13:00 and Friday 9:00 only.

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3 comments on “Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme
  1. Stash says:

    Dear Sir / Madame, Greetings to you. We are based in Gauteng. I want to bring my 11 year old son to visit the power station. He is interested in science and technology.
    It will be during the December school holidays.

    We need to find accommodation somewhere nearby.

  2. Anthony Duncan says:

    Hi Greetings

    I’ll be staying at the champagne sports resort from the 30th March to 3rd April 2020 and am interested to see the dam operations, how do I go about booking a trip or do we just show up and join a tour? Any info would be appreciated.
    Regards Anthony

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