Constant increase of population means constant increase of power needs. As we all need a home with a lot of electricity-dependent devices, the need of energy is no more a question but a fact. So the production of energy will have to increase a lot in the coming years. It’s our choice if the environment in which we will live is going to be clean or not.
As our actual resource of fuels is decreasing and the prices increase there is no discussion anymore that we have to make the transition to green energies and we have to make it fast.
Taking the examples of dams to create energy by rotating turbines with water power, Riverbank Power has developed a project that is of high interest. Water gathered in a bungalow on a river shore will fall in a 600m deep gallery where turbines are mounted. The water pressure will rotate the huge turbines which will create electrical power.
The power voltage will be increased by a transformer and will be transmitted to an exterior switch yard and finally to the electrical grid. The water will be stored into large galleries underground. The galleries will be filled in about 6-8 hours providing energy when it’s needed the most : between the 2 peaks from noon and evening.
At night, water will be pumped out from the reservoirs with the help of the energy created or using energy from other clean sources like wind power. Each Aquabank project will have four 250-MW generators underground providing enough energy for the most important period of the day. The surface footprint would be only 5 to 10 acres, mainly for the water diversion structure and transmission infrastructure. The underground footprint would be about 100 acres.
Riverbank Power has approval to build 3 sites under the surveillance of FERC and about 15 new projects under approval.
One of the problems that may occur is destroying fish and their natural habitat. Fish can be accidentally sucked in the underground if proper measures are not taken. Riverbank found a solution for the initial intake of water to be performed extremely slow and filtered so that the natural flow of the river remains unaltered, unlike conventional hydro power. Also even if the water is stored underground, it is only for a short time and the pumping does not change its quality or temperature before it is returned to the river.
Each 1,000 megawatt facility will cost around $2 billion. Riverbank CEO said: “We think we can procure unwanted wind energy at night in the off-peak, surplus wind energy, and create a 100% green capacity product to sell the next day. Even if we were buying coal at night for our pumping, there’s still a huge carbon win here, because we’re precluding the need for a new fossil peaker plant”.
Each facility should last 100 years and should pay the initial investment few times, while creating jobs and giving green energy for our use protecting the environment.