Why Not Hydro?
Dominion Energy is planning the construction of a new hydropower facility in southwestern Virginia. Their current hydro plant captures rainwater in a reservoir and pumps the water 1,200 feet up a mountain. When released, it rushes back down turning electricity producing turbines. This method produces over 500MW of electricity in as little as 15 minutes. It has been effective for decades. So why not build more hydropower plants? Perhaps its the $2 billion estimated to construct the new facility. Some question the necessity of such a large investment. Is this a step in the wrong direction for coal country?
Canadian hydropower plant in Saskatchewan was originally commissioned from 1963 to 1966. Only now are the final six of eight units undergoing refurbishment. Is this a testament to the durability and efficiency of hydro plants?
Andritz acquired this contract as well as a contract to modernize Ukrainian hydropower station, Dnipro. Dnipro, built between 1927 and 1932, is part of a rehabilitation program financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. The contract value amounts to approximately 60 million euros ($70 million US). The modernization will increase output from 64 to 75 MW and enhance reliability and safety.
Hydropower has stood the test of time as a safe, durable and efficient source of energy. Will the reliability of hydropower ultimately outweigh the environmental concerns and initial sticker shock? What are your thoughts on the subject?