Context: Switzerland’s underground “water battery” is now complete and operational after spending €2 billion and 14 years developing it. Because workers had to tunnel through more than 11 miles of the Swiss Alps, the project took so long to finish.
A hydro battery is made up of two large bodies of water that are situated at different elevations; in this case, they are situated in Valais, Switzerland, between the Emosson and Vieux Emosson dams, nearly 2,000 feet below the surface.
Water can be pumped from the lower basin to the higher pool using extra energy. Water in the higher pool is permitted to flow back into the lower reservoir as energy demand rises. Hydroelectric power is produced by turbines that are spun by flowing water.
Six pump turbines in the power plant can produce 900 MW of power. The facility, built by Nant de Drance, has a 20 million kWh storage capacity, which should aid in stabilizing Switzerland’s energy grid. We’re told that it takes about 20 hours to empty the Vieux Emosson reservoir.
Recently, proponents of renewable energy have engaged in a lot of unconventional thinking.
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) researchers shared their ideas for a gravity-based system that would generate and store electricity using elevators in tall buildings last month. We recently learned that a Finnish company had developed a battery that stores electricity as heat in sand.