Torrent Power, an Indian energy company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian state of Maharashtra to build three pumped storage hydro (PSH) projects with a total capacity of 5.7GW, The Times of India reported.

To be built at an estimated cost of INR270bn ($3.27bn), the three projects will be located at Karjat in the Raigarh district (3GW) and at Maval and Junnar in the Pune District (1.2GW and 1.5GW respectively).

The projects will provide six hours of energy storage daily and will be run off-stream.

They will create nearly 13,500 jobs during construction, which will take place over a period of five years.

A statement fromTorrent Power in The Times of India reads: “The share of renewable power, which is intermittent in nature, is rapidly increasing in the grid. This necessitates energy storage for load management and meeting peak demand. Pumped storage hydro is an established, proven and cost-effective technology for firm, flexible and dispatchable power.”

PSH uses two water reservoirs built at different elevations. Water from the lower reservoir is pumped to the upper reservoir when there is excess energy and stored. During times of excess energy demand, water from the upper reservoir is released.

The flow of water over the turbine or turbines at the lower reservoir generates electricity.

This system brings the advantage of low cost compared to a battery for energy storage. It also has a life of 40 years and can provide energy for longer periods – between six and ten hours and with multiple operations.

Torrent Power has a portfolio of 4.1GW, which includes 2.7GW in gas and 1.7GW in renewables. A further 700MW of renewable projects are also in development.

With a focus on renewables, investment in pumped storage hydro systems is expected to fill the gap in the Indian grid from the intermittent nature of renewables.