About Ry Rivard

Ry covers water for the Explorer. Before coming to New York, he reported on water and energy for Voice of San Diego.
He can be reached at [email protected]

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Herb says

    When you’re buying electricity for $40 a MW, it’s not fossil fuel free energy unless you guarantee its provided by nuclear, hydro or wind. Otherwise, it’s coal or gas. And really, unless it’s base load for nuclear, it’s wasted energy.

  2. William says

    Pumped storage of electricity is a smoke and mirrors false economy. No investment in scaled-up physical plant, except perhaps batteries at point of use, is a smart investment in reality. Only in the false economy of ‘guaranteed return on spending’ utility regulation would this project even be considered by investors.

    These “energy storage plants” are incredibly expensive, risky, and never put out but a fraction of the energy they “store”. Pumping water off peak to then run through a generator on peak won’t recover even a fifth of the energy the pumps use to park this water in storage.

    What does work–with no real facility or power plant costs–is time of use rates. Let energy users buy off-peak electricity at these super low prices while charging on peak users the true cost of creating usage peaks, and load curves flatten. Manufacturing sectors shift consumption, reducing peak loads.

    Even consumer loads are shifted to off peak periods when time of use rates make the price signal clear that choosing to use power at the same high-load time as everyone else costs more than nights or other off peak times. New appliances have timers to shift the washer or dishwasher operating time; hot water heaters can be cycled off during peaks, air conditioning can be limited briefly by load management systems, etc. It’s a proven, low cost approach.

    Flooding a mine will kill bats and other life that lives there. It will change the chemistry of the water and groundwater. It will be devastating in it’s effect, and it will waste far more energy than it ever “produces”.

    Why not invest in load management, after restructuring electric rates so users see clearly the costs of piling on more peak load, and rewarding customers not just for not using energy, but reward those with lower energy costs that shift consumption off peak. It works, with no ratepayer or utility risk.

  3. Larry Master says

    This proposed project does nothing to save energy and help the climate. “Smoke and mirrors” as a previous commenter noted. Please do not risk one of the most critical bat hibernaculums in the Northeast.

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