Germany has launched a new project wherein it will turn a disused coal mine into a giant battery that can store surplus solar and wind energy and release it as and when required.
The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir, which acts like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes.
Germany’s decision to turn a coal mine into a pumped-hydro-storage station solves two crucial problems the country is facing after shifting to clean power:
- It provides new economic activity in a region where generations of workers have relied on fossil fuel for their livelihoods.
- It catalyzes the expansion of renewable energy by helping to maintain electric capacity even when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.