Bath County Pumped Storage Station is the world’s most powerful pumped hydro facility, quietly balancing the electricity needs of millions of homes and businesses. Once described as the “world’s largest battery,” its maximum generation capacity is 3,003 megawatts and its total storage capacity is 24,000 megawatt-hours. Schnabel has provided geotechnical, geologic, and dam safety services at this site since 2015.

The facility incorporates an upper and lower reservoir impounded by zoned embankment dams, with a head differential of over 1,100 feet. A large outdoor powerhouse located at the lower reservoir contains six reversible pump-generating units, and a tunnel and penstock system conveys water between the two reservoirs. The lower reservoir features a concrete spillway crest structure with two steel radial gates, a chute, and a stilling basin located on the right abutment of the lower dam.

Our completed projects have often been multidisciplinary, involving our experts in hydrology, hydraulics, structural engineering, instrumentation, geophysics, geology, geotechnical engineering, and risk analysis and evaluations.

These projects include geophysical electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) surveys of both upper and lower dams; drilling and installation of vibrating wire piezometers to depths up to of 478 ft; preparing annual dam safety and surveillance monitoring plans; specification preparation for bathymetric and LiDAR surveys; updating supporting technical information documents; FERC Part 12 five-year inspection; potential failure mode analysis; and maintenance and replacement of instrumentation, including vibrating wire piezometers, weir instrumentation, weather stations, programming of Campbell Scientific dataloggers, and a unique automated monitoring system for pneumatic piezometers.