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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Hydroelectric and pumped storage

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Making the grid more resilient

Hydropower is one the oldest and most reliable sources of renewable energy, and Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) is becoming an increasingly critical solution to supporting the energy transition and grid resilience.

Generating power from running water without reducing the quantity or quality of that water is an excellent solution for communities struggling with water scarcity and access to power. The flexibility and storage of water makes it much more efficient and affordable for communities to incorporate into the grid

PSH is opening access to clean, renewable, and independent energy by increasing grid stability and power availability as variable renewables, such as solar and wind, take up a greater percentage of global grids. By taking advantage of excess grid electricity outside of peak demand, water is moved from a source of lower elevation to a higher elevation. During peak demand, the water flows down the same path through a turbine, generating electricity. What makes the process particularly attractive is its ability to offset the power cost of desalination facilities, which can account for half the operational costs.

Our expertise

  • Concrete, rock-fill, and earth-fill dams
  • Power, diversion, tailrace, and conveyance tunnels
  • Hydro and water-supply surge chambers
  • Dikes
  • Reservoirs

Our work  

  • installed 26,739 megawatts and designed 10,861 megawatts
  • 9 million cubic yards (6.9 million cubic meters) of rock chambers
  • 157 million acre feet (194 billion cubic meters) of reservoirs
  • 57 miles (92 kilometers) of water tunnels
  • 1,759 miles (2,816 kilometers) of water pipelines
  • 50 hydroelectric plants
  • 105 dams
  • Delivering clean energy to Manitoba

    We’re building Keeyask Generating Station on the Nelson River, Canada’s fourth-longest river. Keeyask is a 695MW hydroelectric facility that will power over 400,00 homes once complete. It began operations in March 2021, six months ahead of schedule.  

  • Serving power to 1.3 million people

    Built during the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam tamed the flood-prone Colorado River southeast of Las Vegas and generated cheap electricity to supply power to homes and industry.

Learn more about how hydropower can supercharge the global energy transition at the International Hydropower Association (IHA), of which Bechtel is a member. We support the IHA’s Sustainability Standard because we are committed to creating a sustainable future and helping the global community realize hydropower’s potential to contribute to a net zero future.