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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '12, 21:32 
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Location: South Carolina, USA
http://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/pumped-storage-hydro/bad-creek.asp
The water is pumped uphill using electricity generated by other turbines so that normal flow of water is not wasted and then the water in the reservior can be used during peak hours. Really it doesn't cost anything to pump it uphill if that flowing water is not being used anyhow...once all the infrastructure is in place. This one has been operating for 20 years now. Probably recouped initial investment by now.

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