Spatial Analysis of Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Integration with Wind Farms in Nova Scotia


  • Ben Collison School of Resource and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University


pumped hydroelectricity, wind farm, GIS applications, spatial analysis, energy storage


Renewable energy systems have been implemented globally to help lower carbon emissions; for example, pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) is a system that helps mitigate peak loads on electrical grids to reduce dependency on fossil fuel energy generation. As a form of energy storage, PHES involves using two water reservoirs at different elevations to generate electricity at times of peak demand. Integrating PHES near wind farms allows the required water-pumping electricity to be supplied by wind power, rather than fossil fuels. A spatial analysis was done using ArcGIS Pro to determine the most ideal sites for PHES within close proximity to wind farms in Nova Scotia. Five potential sites were identified, and map layouts were produced showing conceptual models of PHES at these locations throughout the province. Due to the topography of Nova Scotia, development of PHES is not feasible at many potential sites. Five suitable sites were ranked based on environmental and technoeconomic costs; the Barrachois Wind PHES hybrid project was ranked the highest, followed by the Digby, Ellershouse, Maryvale, and South Canoe wind energy sites. The study concluded that integrating PHES into wind farms in Nova Scotia would be a useful method for boosting electrical grid stability, and attaining emissions reductions targets throughout the province.

Author Biography

Ben Collison, School of Resource and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University

Ben Collison is pursuing a Master of Resource and Environmental Management (MREM) degree at Dalhousie University, with an undergraduate background in GIS and environmental science. His main areas of interest include renewable energy systems, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable planning. He is particularly interested in using GIS to in assist with project planning and development in the renewable energy sector, and supporting municipalities with sustainability objectives and climate change adaptation strategies. His research paper was written for graduate level coursework in “Pathways to Sustainable Energy Systems” during the Fall 2020 Semester, directed by instructors Dr. Wayne Groszko and Dane George.


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