A report by a professor at The Australian National University (“ANU”) has identified approximately 530,000 locations worldwide that would be suitable for pumped hydro energy storage. These sites have a storage potential of approximately 22 million GWh. Research for the ANU report utilized geographic information system (GIS) analysis to find the sites, which are closed-loop and do not include national park land. Each site would have upper and lower reservoirs and a tunnel between them. All of the sites are included on an Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (“AREMI”) website, which can be found in the links below.
Pumped-storage works by pumping water to an elevated reservoir during off-peak periods when excess energy is available. That water is then released downhill through turbine generators to generate electricity during high demand/peak load periods. According to Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory for January 2019, the EIA reports that there is 21,643.3 MW of hydroelectric pumped storage capacity in the United States, just a small fraction of what may be available for construction worldwide.