Dairyland Power Cooperative is collaborating with Mine Storage International AB (Mine Storage) and Michigan Technological University (MTU) to explore the potential for pumped storage hydropower in the Upper Midwest. Dairyland will be evaluating the development of underground pumped hydro at closed mines, an opportunity that supports grid reliability and renewable energy generation while repurposing retired industrial sites in an innovative way.
“Pumped hydro is an exciting opportunity for Dairyland as part of our commitment to adopting viable new storage technologies that support the clean energy transition,” said Dairyland President & CEO Brent Ridge. “The Mine Storage system brings unique benefits as it essentially recycles an existing, but unused, site into a flexible, carbon-free power storage system without some of the environmental concerns of traditional battery storage.”
What is pumped storage hydropower? It is an energy storage system. Pumped hydro performs similarly to a giant battery, storing power and then releasing it on demand—typically during times of high energy use. Two water reservoirs generate power as water moves down from one to the other, passing through a turbine, before the system pumps water back into the upper reservoir.