Big solar, wind, and hydro project is planned for the Boise area

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,219
South Puget Sound, WA

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,424
SE North Carolina
Don’t beach your boat for a break on that lake. You might come back high and dry or find it floated away. Otherwise seems like a decent plan but it 700Mw is a drop in the bucket. Peak US demand is about 600,000 Mwh. ( I think I did the math right). https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42915

Good to see new projects going forward. Hope it gets completed.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
Pump storage facilities are the best almost natural battery's out there, great for "peakers" hopefully the KW needed to power the pumps is offset by the wind turbines.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,206
Northern NH
Pumped storage facilities are great if there is natural reservoir like the Norwegian and Scottish systems have. Not so good if a huge reservoir has to be built especially in hot dry area as a large shallow lake loses a lot of volume due to evaporation. Unless the government is footing the bill under flood control the payback is rarely viable if a large dam needs to be built. 40 years ago there a plan for 250 MW pumped hydro plant in Maine on the St Johns RIver, one of the longest undammed rivers in the East. They would use it store power from a combination of never built nuclear power plant in Richmond and the now dismantled nuke in Wiscasset Maine. It was all dependent on lot of government money. The project was eventually abandoned due to the potential for environmental damage and an endangered plant.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,388
Philadelphia
...seems like a decent plan but it 700Mw is a drop in the bucket. Peak US demand is about 600,000 Mwh. ( I think I did the math right). https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42915

Good to see new projects going forward. Hope it gets completed.
Not the largest of generating plants, but certainly no drop in the bucket, either. 200,000 MW of US energy came from renewables in 2021. Five of these plants in each state would double that number.

I do wonder about the logistical and maintenance challenges of pumped storage in lakes. I suppose I could look it up, but don't want to take the time. What sort of water volume and water level changes are being discussed? What about efficiencies and costs associated with issues such as zebra mussels (and others) clogging the plumbing?
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,424
SE North Carolina
Pumped storage facilities are great if there is natural reservoir like the Norwegian and Scottish systems have. Not so good if a huge reservoir has to be built especially in hot dry area as a large shallow lake loses a lot of volume due to evaporation. Unless the government is footing the bill under flood control the payback is rarely viable if a large dam needs to be built. 40 years ago there a plan for 250 MW pumped hydro plant in Maine on the St Johns RIver, one of the longest undammed rivers in the East. They would use it store power from a combination of never built nuclear power plant in Richmond and the now dismantled nuke in Wiscasset Maine. It was all dependent on lot of government money. The project was eventually abandoned due to the potential for environmental damage and an endangered plant.
Not the largest of generating plants, but certainly no drop in the bucket, either. 200,000 MW of US energy came from renewables in 2021. Five of these plants in each state would double that number.

I do wonder about the logistical and maintenance challenges of pumped storage in lakes. I suppose I could look it up, but don't want to take the time. What sort of water volume and water level changes are being discussed? What about efficiencies and costs associated with issues such as zebra mussels (and others) clogging the plumbing?
No more maintenance than regular hydro but I’m guessing they use the same turbines as pumps. If pumps are separate then you have more to maintain. 5 day lake supply I thought I read.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,206
Northern NH
I had a former coworker who got to spend several months in tunnel under a mountain trying to get a pumped storage plant to run right. On this plant there was not a separate pump and recovery turbine, it was combined into one unit (some types of pumps can be run backwards as turbines). The problem is shifting from pumping to generating. The kinetic energy of the column of water between the upper and lower storage is substantial, if the controls were wrong when they were speeding up or slowing down the generation the shaft coupling between the pump/turbine would snap or other damage would occur. I never got the details on the plant.

Even if its a manmade pond, no doubt there are probably some environments limits on how fast they can draw down or fill up the storage.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,219
South Puget Sound, WA
Pumped storage facilities are great if there is natural reservoir like the Norwegian and Scottish systems have. Not so good if a huge reservoir has to be built especially in hot dry area as a large shallow lake loses a lot of volume due to evaporation. Unless the government is footing the bill under flood control the payback is rarely viable if a large dam needs to be built. 40 years ago there a plan for 250 MW pumped hydro plant in Maine on the St Johns RIver, one of the longest undammed rivers in the East. They would use it store power from a combination of never built nuclear power plant in Richmond and the now dismantled nuke in Wiscasset Maine. It was all dependent on lot of government money. The project was eventually abandoned due to the potential for environmental damage and an endangered plant.
Dry areas are where battery storage may be preferable. Alternatives need to be tailored to the locale. A novel power storage plant is now online in Sardinia. This system uses CO2 instead of water and is scalable. A benefit, besides lower cost, is that they can be constructed quickly without the environmental impacts of a reservoir storage system.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,206
Northern NH
It come down to the technology is out there and beyond R&D there just needs to be a government policy to implement it. With a fractured congress and likelihood of an opposition congress after the mid terms I just dont see the political will.