I know very little about the mechanics or even the business model for most of these novel green energy ideas but this one looks interesting.
Riverbank Power; a new start-up founded by a former wind developer who wants to develop large-scale energy storage, is trying out a new idea. Instead of using hills for the height, it will go the other way. Down into the ground. Their Aquabank would let gravity drop water underground to turn turbines and make hydro electricity. That electricity would be sent from underground to the grid day time. At night, when excess wind is available; wind powered electricity would gently push the water back up to replenish its surface source. So far, the initial studies for the a FERC permitted site are looking good and will be complete by 2011. It is for a 1,000 MW “river diversion” type of project on the Back River site in Wiscasset, Maine.
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.
It is interesting to note that Maine is leading the charge here. This is the kind of initiative I would like to see here. Maybe old mine sites could be used.