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Pump Hydro Underground to Store Wind Power

Should the results remain positive, this project is expected to take five years after FERC approval, and be complete by mid decade. One plus for the Maine site is that it is already close to the grid – it is sited near a nuclear power plant site decommissioned a decade ago.

More importantly, perhaps; local governments and communities in the Wiscasset area are supportive of renewable energy projects. Maine already boasts by far the most renewable energy of any state – 30%. And that’s not counting an additional 22% of hydro power.

Like conventional hydro power this project involves diverting river water, so fish are obviously an issue:

Riverbank is looking at the best technology to significantly mitigate the impact of the projects on fish and fish habitat. To avoid sucking up fish inadvertently, the initial intake from the river is extremely slow and filtered so that the natural flow of the river remains unaltered, unlike conventional hydro power.

Given that the water is stored underground only for a short time, the pumping does not change the quality or temperature of the water before it is returned to the river.

The financing is unusual for these hard times and decidedly trepid investors:

 
 
 
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Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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