Updated: May 19, 2022
Justin Cooper of the Ludington Daily News published a wonderful article about KETL's PUSH project. Mr. Cooper spent time talking with Roman Sidortsov and me about the results of the Mather Mine "pre-pre-feasability study" and their national implications, based upon a geospatial survey of abandoned mines and utility and renewable infrastructures in the United States.
From Mr. Cooper's article:
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has said that the U.S. needs 120 gigawatts of storage to have an 80% renewable grid by 2050, and the country had about 23 gigawatts in 2020.
“In the industry, they know they have to solve this problem,” Scarlett said. “Pumped storage is the best solution, and underground pumped storage is the most elegant of the best solutions.”
In what they call a conservative estimate, researchers determined the U.S. has capacity for between 137 and 285 gigawatts of storage within nearly 1,000 mines likely suited to PUSH.
“To put it bluntly, the energy storage problem in most parts of the United States … can be resolved by the deployment of this technology,” Sidortsov said.
Since Ludington has one of the largest surface pumped storage hydropower systems in the world, the readers of Mr. Cooper's paper have particular interest in our work. The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant is owned by Consumers Energy. an upper impoundment pond with a surface area that measures about 2.5 miles by 0.5 miles, with a vertical drop of about 300 feet from the bluff to Lake Michigan. When talking with people "in the business" of energy storage, we often use "1.75 Ludingtons" or "0.5 Ludingtons" as units to explain different energy capacities in different #PUSH designs in Negaunee's Mather Mine!