Archaeology as Co-Design in the Fight Against Climate Change: Mines, PUSH, and the Energy Transition

Public Lecture by KETL Researcher Timothy Scarlett

3:30 PM at the Charles-De Koninck Pavilion, room 2159, and live on Zoom.

This talk will be in English. Notez que cette conférence sera en anglais.


The "Archéo-Vendredis" lecture series is presented by the Groupe de Recherche en Archéométrie (GRA), Le Centre de recherche Cultures – Arts – Sociétés (CELAT), Université Laval.


Abstract:


Industrial archaeology can help save the world.


Students and faculty in Michigan Technological University’s Keweenaw Energy Transition Lab have completed their first integrated, transdisciplinary feasibility study of adapting heritage mines into batteries to store electrical energy. Archaeology proved to be a unifying key to the design process for a pumped underground storage hydropower facility (PUSH). PUSH converts legacy mines into sustainably operated energy storage facilities that smooth the functioning of intermittent generation technologies (solar and wind) while also providing many other valuable network services.


The electrical utilities are under tremendous pressure to solve their need for storage capacity. Local communities and their heritage organizations hold much of the data needed to complete prefeasibility studies of mines--local archives, libraries, museums, sites, landscapes, and the living memories of community elders. This knowledge gives them power to help solve a critical worldwide need in ways that also solve locally-defined questions of equity and justice in energy, it’s benefits and burdens.


In our next phase of work, we are building upon Michigan Tech’s experience with community-led design to set up an integrated geospatial infrastructure that integrates national data resources (abandoned mine locations and types; electrical grid structures, economics and regulations; water quality; etc.) with community-designed tools for site evaluation (structuring local research, identifying heritage values, defining priorities, consensus building, and modeling). Site studies must evolve into co-design processes that enable local residents to shape developing energy infrastructure to transform the cultural, economic, and/or ecological imbalances in their lives, while providing for the transition to a carbon-neutral energy grid."


Pour informations: marilou.dauphin.1@ula

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