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Media Stories

"The key to a completely renewable energy grid could be converting mines across the country into hydro-powered batteries similar to the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, according to researchers at Michigan Technological University."

"Mines would be repurposed for the same idea behind the Ludington plant: water is pumped upward during low energy demand, and when demand is high, it is released, flowing through turbines that cushion the grid with extra power....."

Justin Cooper for Ludington Daily News

May 16, 2022

"A recent Michigan Technological University study identified hundreds of abandoned U.S. mines that could host pumped storage, with upper reservoirs at or near the surface and lower ones below ground."

"They are close enough to transmission and distribution infrastructure and to solar and wind generating facilities, the report says."

"'All these holes in the ground are ready to go,' said study co-leader Roman Sidortsov, an energy policy associate professor...."


John Flesher Associated Press

April 19, 2022


"Faculty and Students from Michigan Technological University provided an update on their study on the feasibility of using the abandoned Mather B Mine as underground pump-hydroelectric energy storage on Saturday, August 21."


"Timothy Scarlett, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology in the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University and researcher on the project says the study looks at the feasibility from several standpoints and creates a model of collaborative problem-solving."

“'It’s an opportunity for us to develop a model for projects where instead of having companies and agencies doing things to people, that people and companies and agencies can get together and talk about a critical problem and designing collaborative solutions to it for really the first time to get combined visions of productive, profitable, valuable solutions to problems," said Scarlett."'


Melissa Vennix

August 18, 2021 

"Michigan Technological University is studying whether communities could transform abandoned mines into valuable energy storage.

University researchers are partnering with the Marquette County city of Negaunee, population 4,500, on a pilot project that could help mining communities turn liabilities into assets. The prospect is particularly intriguing in the Upper Peninsula, home to hundreds of abandoned metal mines and cripplingly high electricity rates...."

Jim Malewitz for

April 3, 2019

Old and new will interconnect in an innovative way if researchers at Michigan Tech can pull off an energy storage concept that pairs some of the state’s abandoned and flooded mines with hydroelectric pumped storage...

Amanda Durish Cook for

April 5, 2019


What do hundreds of abandoned metal mines and high electricity rates have in common? Well, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, research is underway that could adapt the contours of underground mines to harness pumped hydro storage. Surplus power would pump groundwater, which tends to flood mines when they are abandoned, up an incline. When energy demands are higher, the water would drop down the mine shafts through turbines that churn out electricity....

Carolyn Fortuna for

April 12th, 2019 


Video Feeds:

We've gathered videos by KETL collaborators and others who are working on energy systems, justice, heritage, or related issues.

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Finnish delegates made their trek to the Peninsula

Finnish delegates made their trek to the Peninsula

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Catalyzing communities of future leaders: collaboration, research, and action for a better world

Catalyzing communities of future leaders: collaboration, research, and action for a better world

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Rail line video 24 1 2022

Rail line video 24 1 2022

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"With the rapid growth of renewable energy, the need for energy storage has been increasing at a neck-breaking speed. There are more than enough mines across the United States and the world that could potentially serve as sites for energy storage of different scales. More importantly, such facilities belong to the category of win-win projects as they are capable of delivering environmental, economic, and social benefits for the government, community, and industry, while achieving something that thus far has been out of reach: sustainable mining." 

-Roman Sidortsov

Stories from @MichiganTech:

"How to Reuse and Abandoned Mine" by Alison Mills, Michigan Tech Research Magazine. December 9, 2019.


About the images: An Arctic Landscape. Photo by Roman Sidortsov, 2019.

The Quincy Mine #3 Shafthouse and Pulleys by Valerie King, 4 July 2017. Link

The icon is "Information" by SELicon from the Noun Project (link).

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