Abandoned Mines May by Key to Renewable Energy Source | Environment
University of Minnesota researchers say abandoned mines may be the key to efficiently using renewable energy sources.
According to the U of M Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, the water-laden, open pit mines have the potential to store wind energy. The process for doing this was developed in Europe in the late 1800s.
The process would pump water uphill from the pits to a holding pond using excess late-night winds. Once energy demand goes up during the day, the process reverses the flow and captures the energy in hydro turbines.
According to the university, the plant generates nearly 80 megawatts through turbines for every 100 megawatts used.
The full study report can be viewed online at: nrri.umn.edu/egg/pumpedhydro.