Germany turns a coal mine into a giant battery to store surplus solar and wind energy

Germany turns a coal mine into a giant battery to store surplus solar and wind energy

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Germany will turn a coal mine into a large hydroelectric power station. The German Prosper-Haniel field will cease to be a coal mine. As of 2018, Germany will not operate any anthracite coal mines. Abandoned mines will receive a new role, one that will contribute to the development of renewable energy in this country.

In this way, a coal mine operated for 50 years, located in the North Rhine mining basins, will be transformed into a pumping hydroelectric plant with a capacity of 200 MW. It will store excess solar and wind energy, and generate electricity when there is no wind or sun.

By producing 200 MW of energy, it will be able to supply up to 400,000 homes, combining different technologies to ensure that there are no outages. This will be ensured by installing solar panels and wind turbines to harness sunlight and wind force, respectively.

The plant will also have a system that will pass water through the passageways of the mine to take it to the turbines which will generate electricity.

When fully operational, it will be filled with 1 million cubic meters of water at a pressure of 60 bar.

When necessary, operators can launch water from a height of 1,200 meters to start the turbines. This mining complex has up to 26 kilometers of galleries.

This type of hydroelectric plant is already widely used throughout the world, especially in the mountainous regions of northern Europe and the United States. In this case, however, the difference in height of the two tanks is used, one is created on the surface and the other is underground.

This measure allows revitalizing the region that has needed fossil fuels to generate energy for dozens of years. If this initiative is successful, the other mines in the area will also be transformed into hydroelectric plants to meet the goal of generating 30% of energy consumption through renewable energy by 2025.

This power plant will generate a third of the demand in the entire country, since the vast majority of the energy comes from thermal power plants that use coal to generate energy.

The University of Duisburg-Essen participates in the project.

This is undoubtedly a great example of the transition towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy model that all countries in the world should emulate.


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