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Seismic risk and hazard


Characterization of seismic risk for a PHES facility

Energiasalv is a 550 MW pumped hydro-energy storage (PHES) system to be built in the city of Paldiski, on the north-western coast of Estonia. When renewable energy is produced more than is consumed, Energiasalv stores renewable energy by pumping water from underground reservoirs into Paldiski Bay. If there is less wind and solar energy than consumers would need, Energiasalv provides electricity to the power grid by releasing water from Paldiski Bay back into the underground reservoirs. The project was granted an official building permit in 2022.

A quantitative seismic risk characterization was performed for the Energiasalv facility. Natural seismicity in the area was described, and the potential means to trigger and induce earthquakes relevant for the facility were characterized, in order to enable risk management during the design of the facility. The stability of possible faults intersecting the facility were estimated using Coulomb Failure Stress and Slip Tendency analyses. A quantitative analysis of induced seismic risk was performed modifying the GRID method proposed by Trutnevyte and Wiemer (2017), and recommendations of actions to be taken were given.

Trutnevyte, E., Wiemer, S., 2017. Tailor-made risk governance for induced seismicity of geothermal energy projects: An application to Switzerland. Geothermics 65, 295–312.