Pump Hydro Underground to Store Wind Power

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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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