Hoover Dam’s Massive Potential As Energy Storage
Hoover Dam was a public works project likened to the pyramids. Now, after channeling a river, what if it could tap the power of the sun and wind?
Ivan Penn, July 24, 2018 (NY Times)
Hoover Dam helped transform the American West, harnessing the force of the Colorado River…to power millions of homes and businesses. It was one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century…[Now, the 21st-century challenge is] turning the dam into a vast reservoir of excess electricity, fed by the solar farms and wind turbines that represent the power sources of the future…The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, an original operator of the dam when it was erected in the 1930s, wants to equip it with a $3 billion pipeline and a pump station powered by solar and wind energy…
The pump station, downstream, would help regulate the water flow through the dam’s generators, sending water back to the top to help manage electricity at times of peak demand…The net result would be a kind of energy storage — performing much the same function as the giant lithium-ion batteries being developed to absorb and release power…[It could help provide affordable and efficient power storage for renewables’ overgeneration and replace the natural gas generation now used to up the West’s abundant but variable solar and wind resources. It could be] key to transforming the industry and helping curb carbon emissions…[When completed in 2028, it] could inspire similar innovations at other dams…” click here for more