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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:03:14 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: This dam, plus a 12 mile tunnel, at the second deepest level underground ever dug for for a tunnel, will bring water 💧, more needed than electricity, to the dry Western part of Peru, where 70% of the people live, from wet Eastern part which suffers from excess rain and flooding.

The plan is to make the desert like area of dry Western Peru into highly productive farmland 🌾 🌿 🍀 like California, after irrigation water canals sourced from Hoover Dam enabled the dry Califonia valleys to bloom with food crops. Good for Peru! 

Extreme Engineering Deepest Tunnel - Megastructures (Documentary)

Mega Construction Projects Build

Published on May 16, 2018

One of the deepest tunnels ever attempted will break through the Andes to bring water to drought-ridden farms in western Peru. Join host Danny Forster as he visits remote Olmos to learn how this project will dramatically impact this country's future.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 10, 2018, 02:44:34 pm »

Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.

Monstrous Loch Ness Pumped Hydro Storage Plan Revealed

July 10th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

Scotland is pursuing an aggressive offshore wind program that includes groundbreaking technologies like floating wind farms. In fact, sometimes it has too much renewable energy available. Intelligent Land Investments says it has the solution — an enormous  2.4 gigawatt-hour pumped hydroelectric storage installation on the shores of Loch Ness. Once completed, it could deliver up to 400 megawatts of power for six hours — a feat that Wired UK says could double Scotland’s wind capacity and power 400,000 homes.

Loch Ness pumped hydro storage plan

This pumped hydro proposal will take advantage of the fact that an electric motor can also be a generator ⚡. EV fans will be familiar with the concept because of regenerative braking. When we push on the throttle of an electric car, the motor moves the car forward. When we take our foot off the pedal, the motor becomes a generator, putting electricity back into the battery. A properly engineered electric motor is happy to work in either direction.

The key to this pumped hydro facility will be its electric turbines. Flowing water will spin them one way to make electricity, but they can also reverse direction to pump water back uphill from a lower reservoir. That’s exactly what Intelligent Land Investments plans to do on the shores of Loch Ness.

The big advantage of pumped hydro storage is the energy ⚡ dispatchability, which means it is available to dispatch when needed to power the electrical grid. A gas-fired generating plant needs time — a half hour or more — to come online. Pumped hydro can’t react nearly as fast as a storage battery, however, and in certain conditions, the cost of battery storage today can equal the cost of building a pumped hydro system.

The other factor storage batteries have going for them is they can be installed fairly quickly with very little time needed for site preparation and permitting.   
The Loch Ness project will take years to complete, assuming it obtains all the necessary approvals. All storage installations can affect fragile ecosystems but the sheer size of any pumped hydro installation means it will impact a large area. For those Scots who worry the project will disturb the beauty of the hills around Loch Ness, the company assures them it can landscape the upper reservoir to look like the surrounding lochs.

A former gold mine in Australia has been repurposed as a pumped hydro storage facility. Switzerland boasts one of the world’s largest hydro storage installations, one that features a mammoth 1,450 MW of stored power. And China is leading the way with new variable speed generator technology that could make pumped hydro more efficient. Whether or not the proposed storage facility near Loch Ness ever gets built, pumped hydro storage is likely to remain one of the tools that will move the renewable energy revolution forward.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 16, 2018, 11:31:32 pm »

we are quite proud of this one. months to engineer and design, 4 years to get regulatory approval. The dam has been there since the 1940's but everything new has to  be gone over with a fine tooth comb... Small, local, green all my favourites Thought you might like it.


I don't have a facebook account. They cut me off with the log in screen. I have avoided face book like the plague, just like I have avoided getting a cell phone. I'm an old fuddy duddy with a land line.

I'll take your word that it is a nice facility. I must confess to you, however, that anything Halliburton does smells like greenwashing to me. Former Bush VP Cheney🦖 used to be their CEO and he was the one that got the Frackers to be exempt from the Clean Water act provisions, to the detriment of the biosphere in the USA. Maybe Halliburton is trying to improve their image. I don't trust those profit over planet fossil fuelers.
Well we are in Haliburton Ontario hence the name and the one"l" and no relation to the evil one's company. Here is a youtube link:


Green Mountain Power gets a lot of their juice from Canadian Hydro. Vermont is grateful to you Canadians for selling us clean hydro power.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 08, 2018, 07:55:58 pm »

First Grid-Scale Energy Summit Will Highlight Storage 💫 "Beyond Batteries"

June 5, 2018

By Gregory B. Poindexter [Associate Editor/Hydro Group] , Jennifer Runyon [Chief Editor]

Gregory B. Poindexter, MA, serves an associate editor for PennWell Hydro Group, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Poindexter has been a full-time journalist since 2005. Prior to joining PennWell, Poindexter owned and operated a communications company that produces organizational imagery. He holds a master's degree in mass communications from Oklahoma State University.

Solar power could be paired with other renewable technologies like hydropower to provide energy storage         
In the 2019 FY Budget, the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) included a $90M request to fund a new initiative it calls “Beyond Batteries.” The initiative is part of the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative, and focuses on new approaches to energy storage, which could include hybrid technologies such as pairing hydropower with solar or wind energy in order to provide a stable, dispatchable energy supply. 

“Advances in these areas will allow for loads to be combined with generation from all sources to optimize use of existing assets to provide grid services, and increase grid reliability,” according to the report. The video below explains the initiative in detail.

The Grid-Scale Energy Storage Summit, set to take place on June 25 and 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina, will bring together energy professionals to discuss how wind, solar and hydropower can work together to provide storage.

Video at article link:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 22, 2018, 08:04:42 pm »

Damen Dredging Equipment launches new DOP Dredger Series

April 19, 2018 by Mike McDonald

Damen Dredging Equipment has launched a new DOP Dredger Series following the success of the DOP submersible dredge pump, which has proved its versatility across the globe.

Damen has built more than 20 DOP dredgers on a one-off basis and at least 380 DOP pumps. The DOP submersible dredge pump has been such a great success over the last 25 years because of its simple concept, which is based on a well-proven dredge pump, directly driven by a hydraulic or electric motor, assembled in a rigid housing with the ability to attach all kinds of specialised suction devices, such as mining heads or cutter units. Moreover, the DOP can easily be connected to excavators, cranes, etc.

Olivier Marcus, Damen Product Director Dredging, explains: “In the past we have had many requests for ‘ad hoc’ dredgers using a DOP pump. So we have listened to our clients and learnt from that. They told us mobility and a deep, dredging depth were vital. The knowledge and experience we have gained over the years has now led to the development of a new standard series of DOP Dredgers focusing on maximum sand production at significant depths and practical transport and assembly due to the limited unit weights.”

Dams, mining and sand winning

In recent years there has been more demand for specialised dredgers from hydroelectric dam/water reservoir operators, sand mining companies, and dredging companies carrying out sand winning for reclamation projects, he adds. “There are probably tens of thousands of hydropower dams and water reservoirs in the world built in the last decades. As the flow of the river is dramatically reduced, the sediment it carries settles by the dam. The DOP dredger is ideal to tackle dam maintenance work.”

DOP dredgers are also very good for deep sand winning. “Mining companies are going deeper and deeper for minerals. And separately, there is a lot more land reclamation taking place. The DOP dredger, with the submerged DOP pump, can go much deeper to win sand when compared to a Cutter Suction Dredger.”

Depths to 100 m

The new Damen DOP Dredger Series makes use of the standard DOP 150, 200, 250 and 350, which have a mixture capacity ranging from 600m3/h to 2,400 m3/h. Due to the use of a submerged dredge pump, the DOP Dredger is simply able to reach depths other dredgers cannot, with an ability to dredge to 100 m.  Damen is also introducing an all-electric version of the DOP Dredger, which is particularly appealing for maintenance dredging at hydroelectric dams.

Remote locations

Often projects are taking place in very remote areas, Mr Marcus adds, in the case of hydroelectric dams, high up in the mountains where road access is not easy. Here, the DOP Dredger is ideal because it is easily dismountable and transportable because even its largest components are never bigger than a standard container size. It also has a limited weight, so can be assembled with a small crane.

Quick delivery times

The Damen DOP Dredger Series can be delivered at very short notice. The DOP pumps, power packs and pontoons are standard and therefore in stock. “We can have a fully built up dredger ready for the customer within a few weeks or if customers prefer, it can be built on-site or at a location of their choice.”

It is also possible to change the suction head depending on the project, giving a lot of flexibility, he points out. For example for compact material, a cutter can be installed, or a water injection head to boost production in free flowing sand.

Mr Marcus concludes: “The DOP Dredger client benefits from Damen’s standardised products, which offer a well proven design and provide guaranteed performance, and on top of that the dredgers can be delivered promptly to the customer, no matter how remote they are.”

For more information please look at www.damen.com.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 13, 2017, 01:35:43 pm »

Expansion of Switzerland's 480-MW FMHL Pumped Storage Plant Complete
Switzerland's 480-MW FMHL pumped storage plant

LAUSANNE, Switzerland


By Michael Harris  Associate Editor

More than 200 guests were on hand today as Swiss utility Alpiq inaugurated the expanded 480-MW Forces Montrices Hongrin-Leman pumped storage hydroelectric plant.

The addition of two new 120 MW turbines makes it the second-largest pumped storage plant in Switzerland, Alpiq said — not only contributing to the country's power security, but also its contributions to the European Commission's Energy Strategy 2050 gas emissions goals. 60 MW of the plant's capacity will act as a reserve, helping balance Switzerland's growing wind and solar sectors.

"Switzerland is fortunate to have a powerful hydroelectric infrastructure that enables it to take up the challenge of efficiently integrating intermittent energies into its energy system," said Benoit Revaz, director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

The cost of the US$328.7 million plant was split amongst three partners, with Romande Energie, Alpiq, Groupe E and the city of Lausanne assuming 41.14 percent, 32.29 percent, 13.14 percent and 6.43 percent shares, respectively.

Feasibility studies for the FMHL expansion were conducted a decade ago. The pair of new turbines increases its output capacity from 240 MW and are house in a 100-meter long, 25-meter wide and 56-meter tall cavern with remote operation provided by Alpiq's Centre d'Exploitation et de Gestion de la Production in Lausanne.
Switzerland's 1,000-MW Linthal pumped storage project, inaugurated in January 2016, has the honor of being the country's largest.

Linthal pumped storage tunnel

Switzerland's 1,000-MW Linthal pumped storage project

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:50:25 pm »

Absolutely, FF energy has been wasted and burned indiscriminately for the self-aggrandizement and enrichment of the Plutocracy.  Much to the detriment of the planetary environment.

However, tons of it was used to build Dams like Hoover and the 3 Gorges Dam in China, and 100s if not thousands of others over the course of the last century.  Mostly in the 1930s through 1960s when all the real good spots for this were dammed up.  That has had its own set of environmental consequences of course.

Advanced batteries and solar PV didn't even exist until maybe the 1970s, so that wasn't a practical or even possible choice at that time for a growing society with growing energy needs.  So the infrastructure got built out around the energy contained in FFs, and the population kept growing as a result.  Eventually here since FF energy is a finite resource, you reach an inflexion point.  We have hit it.


I am aware of the energy technology available at any time during the 20th century. Yeah, of course they used, AND CURRENTLY USE, a lot of fossil fuels to make concrete. What was 'practical' at any time during that century was a product of corruption, not CFS. You really do believe that we needed fossil fuels to build all those dams when ethanol plant products couldn't? It was corruption that strangled ethanol and geothermal AND wind (and later on, solar from 1955 on for most of that century - even though the photoelectric effect was KNOWN since Einstein discovered it in the  early years of the 20th century!). We could build a nuke but we couldn't have built solar panels in 1940? Give me break! 

WE DID NOT NEED THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY. I know you think we did. We didn't. The fossil fuelers CHEATED US out of decent government and clean energy. Do you REALLY think battery technology and solar technology and wind technology and geothermal technology and chemurgy plant fuels have been SO SLOW to develop because of "competitive cost market forces"? That's the fossil Fuel Industry's pitch. I never bought it.

I maintain that the fossil fuelers, along with the nuke pukes, ACTIVELY SABOTAGED all the new technology so it wouldn't reach "prime time" until 30 or fifty YEARS after it was actually doable. But most people, you included, just do not want to go there.  :(

From an old article by me:

Outrageously Positive Renewable Energy Growth Prediction!
January 6, 2014

By A. G. Gelbert 
Air Traffic controller/Data Systems analyst

Because I am convinced that Renewable Energy Technologies will swamp fossil and nuclear power poisonous, biosphere damaging technology (presently being subsidized and coddled by governments in many parts of the world to the detriment of their citizens), I am publishing the following Energy Technology Use Projection Chart for the USA from 2014-2035. This chart reflects what I believe to be a worldwide trend to use clean energy in the face of climate change caused catastrophe. The climate will trump all the pro-dirty energy propaganda to such a degree that the mining and burning of coal will become illegal.

For the scoffers, I can only say that you had better pray to God that my chart is accurate. If it is not, and the power of the fossil and nuclear fuels profit-over-planet bullies limits renewable energy to a mere 20% niche (as the dirty energy defenders desire), mankind and most of the species in our biosphere will suffer irreparable damage.

It's time to stop playing accounting games and fudging Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) computations to make dirty energy look profitable. It never was.

It's time for mankind to grow up and accept our sacred duty as a self aware species to be the steward of all lifegiving forces on this planet. It's time to profit off of life and leave behind the ridiculous, delusional, destructive and suicidal social Darwinist concept that you can profit from death.

Growth of renewable energy technology is already nearly exponential. However, because the forces arrayed against it are determined to hold their market share by hook or by crook, increasing legislative headwinds are being encountered. This is due to the fact that subsidies for dirty energy are not being phased out even while subsidies for clean energy (a pittance in comparison to dirty energy coddling) are being challenged as "wasteful" in truly Orwellian fashion.

As I have documented at this link ( http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/fossil-fuel-propaganda-modus-operandi/msg542/#msg542 ) about Ocean Going Oil Tankers and several other posts describing, in detail, the Modus Operandi of fossil fuel corporations' profit-over-planet standard operational procedures is unsustainable.

The dirty energy corporations have never seriously addressed pollution issues. Instead they mendaciously claim through vigorous public relations propaganda efforts that they respect the environment and are merely providing energy to "improve" our standard of living.

They have a long history of destroying promising renewable energy technologies in their infancy.

In the 1920's it was Rockefeller that funded the efforts to obtain Prohibition. It had nothing to do with sin or people drinking. It had everything to do with destroying ethanol as a competitor to gasoline (with Prohibition, farmers could no longer make their own fuel for their tractors or grow the fuel to sell to automobile owners - Rockefeller, rather than our farmers, profited from the growth of the automobile because ethanol - a superior fuel - was illegal). By the time Prohibition ended, the myth that gasoline "outcompeted" ethanol was well entrenched in society.

Now the fossil fuelers claim ethanol from plants takes food off the table. That is another bold faced lie that has been exposed with crop land statistics worldwide. But that never stops these ethics free pro-fossil fuel propagandists from repeating the lies. They have to because their product (gasoline) is, not just poisonous, it's less efficient too! And yeah, they lie day and night about the efficiency of gasoline versus ethanol too. Ethanol was always a superior fuel. That's why the laws were rigged to get it out of the way for big oil to push their refinery waste product (gasoline) onto us. The dirty energy defenders continue the disinformation campaign about ethanol to this day.



In the 1930s, the promise of chemurgy (now re-discovered in the 21st century along with the resurgence of ethanol as a superior internal combustion engine fuel) was crushed by a group of magnates from fossil fuels, paper products and pharmaceuticals who saw their profits threatened. Had chemurgy been utilized to make every product previously made from hydrocarbons (plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, fuel, lubricants, etc.) to be made, instead, from plant based carbohydrates, the oil industry would have have lost their monopoly as a feedstock for these products. The plant based carbohydrate chemurgy also threatened the paper industry which had millions invested in forest harvesting rather than quick growing, environmentally friendly plants that could produce everything from paper to clothing to shoes without destroying forests.

Once again, Renewable energy was destroyed in its infancy. Farmers, once again, suffered while large fossil fuel and chemical industries (the most horrendous polluters on the planet) gained more wealth by gaming the laws, NOT by fair competition, as they claim.


The only really major advance in renewable energy was the massive dam building project of the 1930s and 1940s that produced a penetration of over 30% of our electrical grid powered by renewable energy. To this day, we have not gotten to that level. Yes, the grid is much larger but we had the technology to go fully renewable several decades ago. It was blocked because plutonium was needed for bombs. Nuclear power plants, outrageously expensive in comparison to dams, were sold to us as "too cheap to meter" when the truth was hidden behind a veil of secrecy.

So much so that the costs of mining, refining and manufacturing fuel rod assemblies (that last only 5 to 7 years before having to be secured at taxpayer cost for centuries!) were totally covered up in the miasma of "National Security" (along with Navajo miner cancer clusters).

Those of you that claim it really was justified for national security in the cold war, I challenge you to explain WHY, if it was ONLY about National Security, these nuclear power plant radioactive white elephants that we-the-people were bamboozled into paying for, did not REMAIN IN PUBLIC HANDS? Oh no, they became FOR PROFIT cash cows for utility investors while we-the-people, STILL TO THIS DAY, are holding the bag for nuclear accidents. Take your "National Security" baloney somewhere else.

Now that we don't need all that plutonium, the truth is finally coming out. We need nuclear power plants like a dog needs ticks!


NOTE: All the radionuclides needed in medicine for imaging can be manufactured in cyclotrons safely. No nuclear reactors are needed for nuclear medicine! The radionuclides made in cyclotrons have extremely short half lives making them safe for the environment AND superior for imaging than longer lived radionuclide's made in nuclear power plants pushed on to nuclear "medicine" as an added nuclear power plant cash cow (otherwise, they are just hazardous waste).

As our electrical grid grew with more fossil fuel coal poisoning our children along with the added radiation and CO2 gradually building up, dirty energy celebrated its hegemony over the energy spigot.

 It has now become common knowledge how much we-the-people have been coerced into spending to keep the fossil fuel industry's profits happy.

This quote fro the peer reviewed book by Dilworth pretty much sums up what "cheap" fossil fuels have cost the American people, and by extension, caused grievous harm to the entire planet's people and biosphere.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR  at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. "

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.


We finally developed the solar panel when we had no other choice (energy in space). Tell me, do you honestly think the solar panel could not have been developed in the 1930s and 1940s INSTEAD of the atomic bomb and for maybe a tenth of the cost? Of course it could have! The photoelectric physics was understood. All they needed was money. Big oil and nuclear bomb and power advocates made certain they did not get it.

And that brings us to the 1980s when the same forces that acted successfully against renewable energy in the 1920s and 1930s came together to organize a massive attack on renewable energy, in any form, again.

They succeeded. Now they continue to claim that solar, wind ,tide, ocean current, modernized hydro, etc cannot compete with "cheap" fossil fuels. It was a lie in 1980 and an even more monstrous lie now. In order to perpetrate this Orwellian fantasy, many millions were, and are being, paid to politicians and propaganda outlets from the news media to astroturf pretend representatives of common people to conscience free advertising agencies that will say anything for a buck.

Reagan is a key reason we have only about one-sixth of the soaring global market for windpower — an industry we once dominated: “President Reagan cut the renewable energy R&D budget 85% after he took office and eliminated the wind investment tax credit in 1986. This was pretty much the death of most of the US wind industry” (see “Anti-wind McCain delivers climate remarks at foreign wind company“).
Reagan gutted Carter’s entire multi-billion dollar clean energy and energy efficiency effort. He opposed and then rolled back fuel economy standards. Reagan turned all such commonsense strategies into “liberal” policies that must be opposed by any true conservative, a position embraced all too consistently by conservative leaders from Gingrich to Bush/Cheney and now to John McCain.



Friends of Renewable Energy:

Those of you fellow Homo sapiens that live in the reality based community and understand objectively and dispassionately that what is at stake is the very existence of mankind and much of the biosphere, need to also understand that the forces that kept renewable energy from competing on a level energy playing field are trying to do it again. Don't let them. Challenge every single myth, assumption and egregious happy talk lie about fossil fuels and nuclear power from the very beginning of their use. They were NEVER competitive with Renewable Energy, PERIOD.
People, poison is poison. Repeat that to these people that don't see the connection between a car running in a closed garage and what they are doing to the planet.

If those people do see the connection and don't care, do your part to put them behind bars. I am not kidding. People that are complicit in causing the death of humans are considered accessories to murder.

The victims of this premeditated crime are not limited to humans but extend to the entire biosphere. The fact that it's not personal, just "business", exposes the mens rea psychopathic thinking of these willful planet trashers .

Stop them or we have no future.

Make the above chart a reality and we have a chance to make amends for our insane wasteful ways and open the path to a sustainable future.


"Whether one views the modern world as insane or not may even be a criterion of one’s own sanity."  Masanobu Fukuoka

Article chart at link:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2017, 04:48:35 pm »

Amazing what the thermodynamic energy embedded in Fossil Fuels enabled Homo Sap to do on the civil engineering level.

Unfortunately of course, we are running out of that fuel with which to maintain said dams, and they will in due time be taken down by the forces of nature.


True, but I have a different take on what happened AFTER the US went wild building Renewable Energy infrastructure on a massive scale during the 1930's for about two decades.
You know old man Rockefeller died around when Hoover Dam was being built. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that when he SAW    a picture of this Gigantic Electric Generator, it scared the living S H I T out of him.

  Engineering students pose for a picture atop one of the 2 million-pound hydroelectric generators for the dam at the General Electric factory in Schenectady, New York (1935).

SO, his friends in fossil fuel fascsistdom began ANOTHER attack on renewables (remember, at this time the fossil fuel fascists had DESTROYED the wind generator push 30 years early, the ethanol push 20 years early AND were busy destroying plant based  fuel refinery technology pioneered in the  1930's). Making hemp illegal was part of their skullduggery. And don't forget buying and trashing electric trolleys to replace them with buses. If their product is so God Damned "efficient", why do they ALWAYS go out of their way to destroy the competition?

AND, before all that, they had attacked geothermal (late 19th century) and KEPT a lid on it in the USA, despite we having MASSIVE resources and an invention called a power line that can send energy through wires one hell of a lot cheaper than using gasoline trucks to do it. And don't forget how they engineered a huge tax on booze as far back as 1870 in order to make kerosene artificially cheaper than alcohol for lamp fuel. And all that BULLSHIT about all the other products we "need" to get  from fossil fuels is just that!

RE, the fossil fuel industry CANNOT make money if the MAIN use of hydrocarbons is for plastics, paint, pharmaceuticals and other stuff that ISN'T BURNED. THAT is only about 5 to 10% of their market. They go BANKRUPT if we stop burning their fuels because refineries CANNOT AVOID producing a LOT of fuel and VOCs with the TINY percent amount of lubricants they get per barrel of crude. 

I will continue to disagree with you that the ISSUE of energy production and use is simply a matter of thermodynamics, with fossil fuels as the most "energy dense". It's not. The issue is CORPORATE CORRUPTION of scientific technology in gooberment, PERIOD.

As I have written here a couple of years ago, the dams were beating the daylights out of coal plant electrical power because they were, and are, CHEAPER and clean! Of course dams screw up wildlife in the long run, BUT this fossil fuel industry sponsored imbecilic idea that we have to concentrate on ONE source of POLLUTING energy from hydrocarbons is total bullshit. It's always been total bullshit, and it always will be total bullshit. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2017, 03:11:54 pm »


Building Hoover Dam, in pictures (1931-1936)

Tibi Puiu March 23, 2017

Officials boldly ride in one of the penstock pipes of the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Dam (1935). Credit: BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

When it was finally finished in 1936, the 60-story Hoover Dam was the highest dam in the world. That distinction now belongs to Jinping-I Dam in China. Eighty years later, however, Hoover Dam is not only still operational generating 3.6 TWh annually and a tourist attraction where millions flock every year, it’s also a remarkable engineering effort that serves as an inspiration for great infrastructure works.

This huge dam was built in only five years, from 1931 to 1936, with 5,251 people employed at peak construction. Hoover Dam’s story began much earlier, though. A famous engineer at the time from the Bureau of Reclamation named Arthur Powell Davis first outlined the vision for a high dam erected in Boulder Canyon, Colorado back in 1902. His indications and initial engineering report were put to good use when detailed plans for Hoover Dam began in 1921.

An inspection party near the proposed site of the dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River (1928). Credit: EYSTONE/FPG/HULTON ARCHIVE.

Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States and the man the dam was named after, played a crucial role in turning Davis’ vision into reality. In 1921, at the time a secretary of commerce, Hoover became convinced that a dam is of the utmost importance in Boulder Canyon. Such infrastructure would provide much-needed flood control in the area protecting downstream farming communities that got battered each year when snow from the Rocky Mountains melted and spewed into the Colorado River.

A surveyor signals to colleagues during the construction of the dam (1932). Credit: CORBIS.

The damn would also provide enough water to irrigate farming in the desert and supply southern Californian communities like Los Angeles with potable water. That’s, of course, in addition to the electricity it would generate. In 2015, Hoover Dam, which has a 2,000 megawatts of capacity, served the annual electrical needs of nearly 8 million people in Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada.

Dynamite is detonated in the canyon to make room for the new dam (1933). Credit: CORBIS.

Once Hoover became president in 1929, the Boulder Canyon dam became a national priority. In the same year, the president signed the Colorado River Compact into law, also known as the ‘Law of the River’. It defined the relationship between the upper basin states, where most of the river’s water supply originates, and the lower basin states, where most of the water demands were developing. Hoover would later claim this was “the most extensive action ever taken by a group of states under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between states”.

To make sure the canyon walls were solid enough to support the arch design, so-called ‘high scalers’ were employed to hammer away anything loose. Falling rocks were a serious hazard so the workers dripped their hats in tar and left them out to dry. Essentially, these were some of the first hard hats. Credit: Corbis

Building Hoover Dam was a gargantuan task. Before construction of the dam itself could begin, the Colorado River had to be diverted. Four diversion tunnels were carved through canyon walls to divert river flow around the dam site. Then, the riverbed had to dredged of deep silt and sediments to expose the bedrock formation.

This bucket holds 18 tons of concrete (1934). Credit: CORBIS.

To stabilize Hoover Dam, its base required 230 gigantic blocks of concrete. Then, columns were linked together like a giant Lego set with alternating vertical and horizontal placements. By the time concrete pouring ceased on May 29, 1935, some 2,480,000 m3 of concrete were used, not counting the 850,000 m3 employed in the power plant and other works. Overall, enough concrete was poured to pave a two-lane highway between San Francisco and New York!  :o


Construction works carried on day and night (1935). Credit: CORBIS.

All of that concrete would have taken 100 years to cool and cure properly  :o were it not for the intervention of the Hoover Dam engineers. Some 528 miles worth of one-inch steel pipes were embedded through the interconnecting concrete blocks through which ice cold water was circulated. The water was supplied by the construction site’s own ammonia refrigeration plant which at peak capacity could produce the equivalent of a giant 1,000-pound ice block every day.

Hoover Dam is an arch-gravity design which dissipates that pressure into the canyon walls equally on the Arizona and Nevada side. Water exerts as much as 45,000 pounds per square foot of pressure at the base of Hoover Dam but this immense crushing force is transferred to the canyon walls.

The architect of Hoover Dam was Gordon B. Kaufmann, known for his design of the Los Angeles Times Building. Kaufmann not only took structural design in consideration but also applied an elegant Art Deco style to the entire project.

  :D  Engineering students pose for a picture atop one of the 2 million-pound hydroelectric generators for the dam at the General Electric factory in Schenectady, New York (1935).

A widely circulated urban myth says many bodies are were buried inside the dam’s concrete. That’s certainly not true although way too many people died building Hoover Dam by today’s standards. Officially, there are 112 deaths associated with the construction of Hoover Dam, including three workers who committed suicide on site, and a visitor who died accidentally falling off the massively high structure.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt tours the dam (1935). Credit: CORBIS

The final block of concrete was poured and topped off at 726 feet above the canyon floor in 1935. On September 30, a crowd of 20,000 people watched President Franklin Roosevelt commemorate the magnificent structure’s completion. The dam was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders in 1994. It receives some 7 million visitors annually, while Lake Mead, the world’s largest reservoir, hosts another 10 million as a popular recreation area.

Hoover dam after years of operation (1940). Credit: SCHENECTADY MUSEUM.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:00:51 pm »

How to Make Electricity in a Disused Coal Mine  ;D


A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy.

The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir, which acts like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes, said state governor Hannelore Kraft. The town of Bottrop, where people worked the 600 meter (1,969 foot) deep mine since 1974, will keep playing a role in providing uninterrupted power for the country, she said.

Source: University of Duisburg-Essen

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 24, 2016, 09:49:58 pm »

Huge Hydropower Plant to Harness Seawater and Solar Power in South America’s Driest Desert

Cole Mellino | January 22, 2016 3:54 pm

Lodged between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is the Atacama Desert in Chile—the driest non-polar desert in the world.

It certainly isn’t a location where you’d expect to find a hydropower plant, but Valhalla, a Chilean company, plans to build Espejo de Tarapaca (Tarapaca Mirror), a 300-megawatt solar and hydropower plant.

Valhalla claims Chile’s unique coastal geography make its an ideal location for a solar and hydropower plant.

During the day, the plant will use solar power to move seawater up a tunnel to the top of a mountain, where the water will be stored in a natural reservoir, explained FastCoExist. At night, the water will be released back down, generating power as it falls. This way, the plant can generate power day and night. Pumped storage hydropower plants are not a new concept, but utilizing solar power to pump the water is.

“You need to be able to provide power when it’s needed, so it’s readily available and dispatchable,” Francisco Torrealba, co-founder of Valhalla, told FastCoExist. “If on a particular day you don’t have wind and can’t provide energy at a peak time, that would be a huge crisis. That’s why our concept becomes relevant.”

The water will be pumped up to a natural reservoir at the top of a mountain using solar power during the day. Then at night, the water will be released back down, generating power as it falls. Photo credit: Valhalla

Because there are natural reservoirs at the top of the mountain, the company will not need to build dams.  ;D

The Chilean coast is an ideal location for this type of project. “Chile has the best conditions in the world for solar plants—roughly 15 percent better than Arizona,” Torrealba said. “It’s really stunning. But Chile also has the best conditions in the world for pump storage running with seawater. That means we can produce flat, steady power at a very reasonable price.”

The company won’t have to construct dams, either. “We found these natural depressions that we believe were very ancient lakes, but obviously there is nothing there now, it is a desert, that will allow us to store water,” the company’s co-founder and chief executive Juan Andres Camus told Reuters.

And it’s currently cost-competitive with coal. “In Chile, we don’t have any subsidies for renewables, so we need to be able to compete straight with coal generation,” Torrealba explained. “It’s a very Darwinian world—you need to be able to play against coal. Our cost structure is at the price of coal right now.”

Valhalla is set to begin construction on the plant in the second half of 2016. They’re still in the process of securing funding for the venture, but they estimate they will be supplying electricity to utilities by 2020. They believe the Chilean coastline has the potential to supply power for all of South America.

“The region of Tarapaca can be a leader in solar energy,” Torrealba told Tunneling Journal. “And Chile can become an energy superpower in the world.”

We could completely replace all the generation in South America,” he told FastCoExist. “You could very easily envision a South America in 20-25 years which has an integrated grid all throughout the continent, in which Chile could be providing very cheap, clean electricity with this combination of pump storage and solar power.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2015, 03:07:07 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: I strongly disagree with the data and the assumptions made by Gary Wockner in this article.

The Hydropower Methane Bomb No One Wants to Talk About

Gary Wockner | October 6, 2015 12:38 pm


A fossil fueler (copper) weighed and I had to agree with him.  :o   


You ecotards are never happy are you. Not until everyone is living in caves. So let me ask you this Gary. Where do you think that organic matter goes if not into some reservoir behind a damn? Maybe the next large body of stagnate water? You don't seem very bright so don't beat yourself up if you can't answer.

agelbert reply to Copper 

For once, I must agree with you. In the early 1940's, over 40% of the U.S. electric power came form hydroelectric power. That percentage of NON-coal polluting crap has yet to be achieved. Yes, the grid grew a LOT since then, and the nuclear power pigs were added to the SUBSIDIZED polluting fun and games, but it certainly DID NOT have to be that way.

Congress, in the 1960's, wanted a 50/50 mix of nuclear power and solar R & D for new electric power in the growing grid. But solar was deliberately defunded except for solar panels on satellites, a far more hazardous environment than the surface of our planet. This technology WAS NOT handed off to the business to produce highly efficient (and cheap with mass production) solar panels because it was a "national security" issue. But It wasn't just the nukers that wanted solar power to stay on the fringe.

1955: Why the US Chose Nuclear Energy Over Solar

At any rate, I agree with your point about methane. The FACT is that termites, which represent one of the largest biomasses on the planet (far larger than humans AND the farm animals we raise for food and milk), produce MORE methane than those cows and dams put together! And THAT is NATURAL methane.

I have never heard anybody screaming about all that methane the termites are making.  ;)  I'm sure you haven't either.

So the methane produced as a "byproduct" of hydropower is BULLS HIT. That is the type of ecotard hyperbole that tarnishes renewable energy efforts.

Ecocide is real. WE are doing it. But it is NOT because of hydropower!

Some biomass weights:

Human population = 335,000,000,000 kg.

"Human population = 335,000,000,000 kg. This figure is based on an average human weight of more than 100lbs, though (50kg, to be exact).  I don't know how accurate this estimate is, especially considering that about 1/3 of us are children.  There are supposedly around 1.3 billion cattle in the world, and, put together, they may weigh almost twice as much as our species."

Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba =  379,000,000,000 kg.
There are more ants than krill. Also, metabolism plays a role along with biomass. A "million ruby-throated hummingbirds will consume much more food than one African Elephant, even though both have about the same biomass (3,000kg, or 3.3 US tons). 

Thus, ants, as a group, may actually consume more resources per year than antarctic krill, even though both may have roughly the same biomass, because ants tend to be smaller, and live in warmer environments. Although there may be about 10-15 times the biomass of termites than cows in the world, studies have suggested that termites might produce almost 30,000 times as much methane per year because of their faster metabolism."

So how come Gsry Wockner isn't hollering about reducing the termite population? 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 28, 2015, 08:36:37 pm »

Norway Pumps Up ‘Green Battery’ Plan for Europe

Posted on Jul 27, 2015

LONDON—Norway is hoping to become the “green battery of Europe” by using its hydropower plants to provide instant extra electricity if production from wind and solar power sources in other countries fade.

Without building any new power stations, engineers believe they could use the existing network to instantly boost European supplies and avoid other countries having to switch on fossil fuel plants to make up shortfalls.  ;D

Norway has 937 hydropower plants, which provide 96% of its electricity, making it the sixth largest hydropower producer in the world—despite having a population of only five million.

Europe already has 400 million people in 24 countries connected to a single grid, with power surpluses from one country being exported to neighbours or imported as national needs change.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 12, 2015, 03:55:35 pm »

Anti-nuke activist turned hydropower developer John Warshow was admired by friends and foes

Anne Galloway Jul. 6 2015, 11:16 am

John Warshow in a photo (at link) that his son David Warshow said expresses his father’s personality well. Photo courtesy Warshow family

John Warshow, an anti-nuclear activist and renewable energy pioneer, died last week.
Warshow, 59, and his business partner Mathew Rubin, became the first independent hydropower producers in Vermont. Their lifelong friendship was forged during an anti-nuclear protest: In 1978, they were arrested for chaining themselves to a fence outside the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

A memorial service for John Warshow will be held 10 a.m. Sunday, July 19, at Marshfield’s Old Schoolhouse Common.

In the 1980s, Warshow and Rubin channeled their anti-nuclear activism into the development of alternative energy. They bought several defunct dams and, using a new federal law, sought to sell power from the dams to local utilities. One of the utilities, Green Mountain Power, fought the scheme for a dam in East Montpelier, and sued over Warshow and Rubin’s biggest scheme: The development of a large hydro dam on the Winooski River in Winooski. The litigation over the dam and over rates for the resulting hydropower went on for years. Eventually, they defeated the utility company in court.

Warshow was, as one friend put it, a “quintessential Vermonter” of the hippie era. He came to Vermont from Long Island in 1976 to attend Goddard College, which was a hotbed of liberal activism, and soon after became involved with his professor, Scott Nielsen, in the anti-nuclear movement. (He later married Nielsen’s daughter, Jenny, and they made Marshfield their home.)

In one memorable protest, Warshow, Rubin and about 150 demonstrators at Vermont Yankee chained themselves to the fence around the plant. Rubin recalls that the Vermont State Police used bolt cutters to release the protesters and then carted them off to the Brattleboro Armory.

The protesters waited for hours. By evening, they had no food, no blankets, no Band-Aids for the scratches they’d gotten in the fray of the protest, and so Warshow went over to the trooper in charge and asked to use the telephone. His one call was to Jerry Diamond, the Vermont attorney general.

“He said, ‘hey you’re in charge of the state police, therefore we’re your responsibility,’” Rubin said. “He read him the riot act, and Diamond was so stunned he called the state police, and they brought him down to Brattleboro, driving 90 miles an hour.”

The protesters were charged with trespassing, and Warshow sued the state over the right to demonstrate. He argued the case pro se (he represented himself), and when the case went before the Vermont Supreme Court, he won.

Warshow didn’t have a law degree. In fact, he didn’t graduate from Goddard College, but he became an astute student of the law and became very knowledgeable about federal and state utility statutes.

His keen intellect and legal savvy came in handy when he and Rubin decided to develop hydropower in the 1980s.

Marty Miller, an attorney who worked for Warshow and Rubin, said Warshow saw that nuclear power “wasn’t the way to go and he couldn’t just say no; he had to have an alternative.”

Old dams, new energy

That alternative energy source was hydro. Warshow and Rubin explored whether they could develop abandoned 19th century dams under a new federal law, the Public Utility Regulatory Power Act, which was enacted in 1978 and paved the way for independent companies to sell electricity to utilities. Today, 7 percent of the nation’s power comes from independent power producers, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Warshow and Rubin started with the old Wrightsville Dam in Montpelier. They obtained a federal license and permits for the property and then sold the project to the Washington Electric Co-op. Then they acquired abandoned dam sites in East Montpelier, Springfield and Winooski.

The East Montpelier dam had been owned by Green Mountain Power, but the utility let the federal license lapse and Warshow and Rubin swooped in to buy it. The duo obtained the land for the dam through an eminent domain proceeding. GMP officials were stunned.

When the pair tried to develop the Winooski dam, they became enmeshed in a seven-year legal battle with Green Mountain Power, the city of Burlington, the city of Winooski and the owner of the Chace Cotton Mill.

Burlington wanted to develop a dam on the river falls and spent $4 million on environmental studies. Under federal law, municipalities get first dibs for hydro licenses. The trouble was, the city was backed by a private enterprise — Green Mountain Power — and that put Warshow and Rubin on equal footing. Their proposal cost half as much and produced two-thirds of the power Burlington hoped to produce. Eventually, Warshow and Rubin won.

“John was a fighter, but without anger,” Rubin said. “In a business partnership that lasted 34 years, I never saw him lose his temper.”

They then went to war with Green Mountain Power over power rates. The utility didn’t want to pay rates allowable under federal law, which were in the 10 cents per kilowatt range at a time when nuclear power was selling for 4 cents per kilowatt. Warshow argued, again pro se, that the utility didn’t have a choice.

Miller said utilities have a state-granted monopoly for their service territories, and this was the first time an independent company was generating relatively large scale power.

“[John] led the fight at the PSB to obtain payments that were sufficient to actually build and run one of these plants, which was key to getting this whole industry going,” Miller said. 

Warshow and Rubin bought GMP and Central Vermont Public Service shares (for themselves and their friends) and a group of 10 or so of the activists began showing up at the annual meetings. They gave utility executives a hard time  about investments in the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire. (Warshow, who was a member of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance, spent 30 days in jail for a protest at Seabrook.)

Steve Terry, who was an executive with GMP, describes Warshow as “a tough opponent.” Terry doesn’t recall that the utility ever won a rate case against Warshow.

“They were scrappers, they were challenging GMP in rate cases,” Terry said. “They really knew how to make use of the media and they did. Their strategy always was news by embarrassment.”   

As stockholders, they had access to private company information that they were more than happy to share with reporters. They turned the media onto information about executive pay and expense accounts, for example.      

Eventually, GMP negotiated a confidential agreement with Warshow and Rubin, and the pair agreed to not set foot on the utility’s property, not to interfere with rate cases and not to own stock in the company.

The rise of renewables   

Terry said Warshow and Rubin were outliers, but he gives them credit for creating a visionary approach to renewable energy in Vermont that eventually became mainstream. The state of Vermont has adopted aggressive renewable energy goals, and GMP is now a national utility leader in the field.

“In order to do what we did, we had to create an industry,” Rubin said. “There were no independent power producers. They didn’t exist.”

Rubin and Warshow not only figured out how to go through the federal licensing process, they also had to work with the state to develop rates, contracts and regulations.

“Needless to say, back then the utilities had a monopoly, and they didn’t want anybody else playing in the sandbox,” Rubin said.

Renewable energy pioneer John Warshow died June 28, 2015. Courtesy photo (at link)
Warshow was fearless, Rubin said, because he had a strong sense of what he believed in. He also had no ego. 

“The question was never whose idea it was, but the result,” Rubin said. “With someone like that, with intelligence and integrity, you can accomplish a lot and we did.”

In September, Rubin, Warshow and the Winooski One partnership sold the dam to the Burlington Electric Department and the city of Burlington for $12 million.

Warshow didn’t have much time to enjoy the proceeds of his once risky investment. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells, less than two weeks before he died on June 28 of cardiac arrest, following kidney failure.

Warshow is survived by his wife, Jenny; his sons, David and Ethan; his father Alan, of Manhasset, New York; his sisters, Leslie, of Salt Lake City, and Susan, of Port Washington, New York; his nieces, Hannah and Julia, of Upton, Massachusetts, and his nephew, Jason, of Salt Lake City, who called John “Uncle Maple.”

Contributions in John’s memory may be made to the John L. Warshow Memorial Fund being created to support the development and maintenance of recreational, educational, and historical opportunities in Marshfield such as the Stranahan Memorial Town Forest that John helped create.

Memorial fund donations should be payable to the John L. Warshow Memorial Fund and sent to C/O Rich Phillips, 1119 Hollister Hill Road, Plainfield, VT 05667.

Editor’s note: Steve Terry and Mathew Rubin are members of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the nonprofit organization of which VTDigger is a part.


John Beling 

July 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm

I am saddened to see this. My condolences to John’s family and friends.

Rich Lachapelle

July 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm

The man was a pioneer in Vermont in promoting renewable energy, even before it was trendy. He did however face vehement, organized protest when pushing to build the Winooski One hydro project which has been a huge success. It has since been purchased by Burlington Electric and contributes to it’s 100% renewable portfolio. He did not cave and cower when the protesters erected posters asking: “do you want the Winooski River to go through a hole this big?”.

Fred Woogmaster 

July 7, 2015 at 6:37 am

“Who is it that says most, which can say more,
 Than this rich praise, that you alone, are you…” Shakespeare

A life of merit – without question.

Patrick Zachary 

July 7, 2015 at 5:50 pm

John was a great guy. He was always willing to talk about his projects. I fondly remember walking the Winooski One dam with him during construction and stopping at spray paint circle around what was clearly a weed – he commented that this particular weed held the project up for a long time ( years). He was quiet, objective and determined. Well lived.

Bob Stannard 

July 8, 2015 at 5:59 am

It was an honor to have known John and to work with him on the closing of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. He was a quiet man; an understated man, but you’d be ill-advised to underestimate him.

I never did have an opportunity to ask him his thoughts on those who oppose renewable energy; much as he opposed nuclear energy. It would have been nice to have been able to hear his perspective.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 25, 2015, 09:02:47 pm »

These pumps use ZERO fuel of ANY kind (aside from the energy used to make the metal and valves, of course).
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 25, 2015, 08:34:03 pm »

I have wanted a dam ever since I bought the 'stead.  I know right where it should go. I don't really think I'd get enough head to drive a turbine very often, but I sure would like to try it. The creek is named Mill Creek, and I think that means that at some point somebody had a dam that generated water power nearby. But so far I have not uncovered the history of the local mill that must have once existed.

If your head is too low, there are still ways to get small scale hydro power. Forget the math for sufficient head for a moment. All you need is 3 or four gallons per minute of MOVING water.

I think you have that, do you not?

There are two ways to handle that.

1. A bullet shaped submersible electric generator is fastened to a post in the stream. You then use that electricity to run an electric centrifugal pump from the stream to a reservoir.

2. Skip the electric generator and put a hydraulic ram pump in the stream to pump water up to a reservoir. Ram pumps can, with very low stream velocity, pump water up as high as 40 FEET!

This is a 1973 article but the principle involved in hydraulic ram pumps is the same. Perhaps they are cheaper now than they were then:

The Hydraulic Ram Pump: Perpetual Motion for the Homestead
 Although water won't run uphill, some exceedingly clever soul discovered a long time ago that H2O can be persuaded to pump itself in that general direction. The hydraulic ram pump makes it possible.

... if your property contains a spring, creek, small stream, or other source with a flow of at least three gallons per minute (gpm) you can probably solve your problem easily and inexpensively with a hydraulic ram pump.

All that time the device has been pumping clear, cool spring water up over a 25-foot hill—a distance of 150 feet—and into our farm pond, without the use of any fuel whatsoever. In short, we're getting about 500 gallons of water per day at an operating cost of zero ... and we expect this to continue for ten years or more.   


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 25, 2015, 05:23:51 pm »

UNESCO Small Hydropower Course Participants

Your Picture Here: Send Us Your Dam Selfie  ;D

View Slideshow >>
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 18, 2015, 06:41:44 pm »

Damn Dams: A choking hazard for Amazonia

A new report by WHRC scientists Marcia Macedo and Leandro Castello highlights hydroelectric dam projects in the Amazon as a key threat. The report, commissioned by the Living Amazon Initiative of the World Wildlife Fund, entitled, “State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health” reviews the current state of watershed ecosystem health and identifies key threats and opportunities for conservation across Amazonia. The report finds that planned hydroelectric dam projects will constrict every subwatershed and undermine the health of the entire Amazonian watershed.

The health of the Amazon watershed depends on annual flood cycles, which cause rivers to swell by as much as 20 meters each year. As river water overflows into the floodplains, rivers become connected to surrounding forests.

This annual flood pulse serves as a giant mixing bowl, transferring vital sediments and nutrients and providing a highway for fish migration.
Dam projects sever these essential connections, increasingly fragmenting individual subwatersheds and undermining the health of the whole Amazon system.

Dams are not the only threat to watershed health.
The region continues to be at risk from deforestation, mining and hydrocarbon extraction, and climate changes, all of which may change the annual flood pulse and river connectivity.

Economic pursuits tend to increase energy demand, which drives the construction of more hydroelectric dams in the region. But these cumulative impacts are often ignored in environmental policies governing dam construction. Environmental impact assessments only consider the effects of individual projects, making it virtually impossible to achieve integrated watershed management. 

The Amazon Basin spans seven nations, which is perhaps the biggest challenge to holistic watershed management. Healthy river systems depend on connectivity and do not respect political boundaries. In many cases, economic development activities in one country can incur environmental costs in another, yet there is not an overarching policy framework to help coordinate management activities across country boundaries.

Developing such a multinational framework is both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for conserving Amazon freshwater ecosystems and supporting the productive fisheries and human populations that depend on them.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 30, 2014, 05:16:01 pm »

Asian bank funds 290-MW Nam Ngiep 1 hydro project in Laos  ;D



The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide assistance totaling US$217 million to support construction of the 290-MW Nam Ngiep 1 hydroelectric project on the Nam Ngiep River in Laos.

Japanese construction company Obayashi last year won a contract to provide civil engineering works for Nam Ngiep 1 in Xaysomboun and Bolikhamxay provinces. The project is being developed by Nam Ngiep 1 Power Co. Ltd., which is jointly owned by Kansai Electric Power of Japan, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Lao Holding State Enterprise.

ADB is supporting Nam Ngiep 1 under a public-private partnership arrangement. The bank is providing an assistance package consisting of a US$50 million direct loan, a 3.04 billion baht (US$95 million) loan, and a B loan of US$72 million funded by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank Ltd., with ADB acting as lender of record. The project also will be financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation and four Thai banks.

The project is to include a main power station, a reservoir of 67 square kilometers, a re-regulation power station and a 125-kilometer transmission line to connect to the Nabong substation near Vientiane.

Upon completion in 2019, the project is to supply the bulk of its power to Thailand with part of its generation to be used domestically to raise Laos' household electrification rate.

World Bank supports Laos' hydropower, mining sectors

The government of Laos also signed an agreement in which the World Bank is to continue technical assistance under a program to build the capacity of Laos' hydropower and mining sectors.

The World Bank approved US$17.8 million in additional financing to the hydropower and mining sectors project.

With financing from the World Bank's International Development Association, Laos' Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion last year took bids to become investor-operator of two micro-hydropower projects in Laos' Houaphan Province. The World Bank's International Finance Corp. also recruited consultants to serve as stakeholder engagement/communications specialist for the hydropower and forestry sectors in Laos.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 05, 2014, 12:25:33 am »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 10, 2014, 08:48:20 pm »

Canadian News


Hydro-Quebec celebrates 70th anniversary

Canadian provincial utility Hydro-Quebec celebrated its 70th anniversary in mid-April, noting that hydroelectric power was and continues to be part of the company's success.

Founded April 14, 1944, with the passage of an act establishing the Quebec Hydro-Electric Commission, Hydro-Quebec wasted little time breaking ground on its 1,178-MW Bersimis 1 and 869-MW Bersimis 2 hydro plants.

The boom in energy demand post-World War II quickly necessitated the construction of additional projects, with hydro plants on the Manicouagan River and Riviere Aux Outardes being built in the late 1950s.

Hydro-Quebec faced a pivotal moment in fall 1962 when the provincial government, headed by Jean Lesage, proposed the nationalization of all power utilities under the election slogan "Maitres Chez Nous," or "Masters in Our Own House." The movement led Hydro-Quebec to purchase 10 privately-held electric companies in May 1963 under the direction of Rene Levesque.

Since then, the utility has faced a number of challenges, including standardizing rates throughout the province, electrifying rural areas and setting up an effective distribution grid.

The company now operates 61 hydro projects that have a cumulative capacity of more than 36,000 MW,  ;D manages 34,000 km of transmission lines, employees 20,000 people, supplies 4.1 million customers and controls assets worth US$66.6 million.

Changes to Upper Lillooet hydropower project

Canadian power producer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. has reached agreements with provincial utility BC Hydro regarding components of the Upper Lillooet hydropower project.

The Upper Lillooet project - which would have included the 74-MW Upper Lillooet, 23-MW Boulder Creek and 16-MW North Creek hydropower stations - will be located on Crown land in British Columbia.

The project was granted environmental assessment certificates from the British Columbia government this past January.

The new agreement increases Upper Lillooet's capacity to 81.4 MW and Boulder Creek's to 25.3 MW. Meanwhile, the North Creek hydroelectric plant has been cancelled.

The project is being developed by Creek Power Inc., which is a joint venture between Innergex and the Ledcor Power Group Ltd.

Partnership announced for Jimmie Creek project

Alterra Power Corp. and Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. have announced a partnership agreement for the ownership and construction of the 62-MW Jimmie Creek hydroelectric plant. Under the deal, Alterra will own 51% of the project, while Fiera will own the remainder through a managed fund.

Alterra assumed 100% ownership of the project in November 2013 from General Electric, after signing development agreements with the Klahoose First Nation for its construction in May 2012. Construction is under way, with an expected completion date in August 2016.

"We are delighted to add another hydropower project to our diversified fund portfolio," Fiera executive Dominic Chalifoux said.

All power generated by Jimmie Creek will be sold to BC Hydro under a 40-year contract. Financial closing for the deal was expected later this quarter.

Canadian developer eyes pumped-storage projects   

Canadian company Turning Point Generation has announced its plan to develop a pumped-storage hydropower project in Alberta with a capacity of 80 to 150 MW.

The unnamed plant is TPG's first pumped-storage project, although one necessary, the company said, for the province's energy security.

TPG has identified several of what it calls "favorable" sites and will now move ahead on the project's development.

"This project is our most advanced, has exceptional inherent site characteristics and enjoys favorable reception from key stakeholders, including the First Nations involved," TPG official Peter Bubik said. "We believe the Alberta power market provides an economical basis for pumped-storage at this time and the market indications are showing increasingly favorable economics for pumped-storage in the future."


BC Hydro plans to conduct dam safety reviews at three dams: 22-MW La Joie Dam, 42-MW Seton Dam and Terzaghi Dam, which impounds water for two Bridge River generating stations.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 27, 2014, 05:46:08 pm »

RusHydro Starts-Up New 640-MW Unit at Sayano-Shushenskaya, Two More Coming Soon

 Linas Jegelevicius, International Correspondent 
 May 27, 2014 

JSC RusHydro, Russia’s largest power-generating company, has announced that a new 640-MW hydropower unit has been commissioned at the company’s Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant (HPP), in addition to the other 8 hydropower units in operation at the plant. 

full story here:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 27, 2014, 02:32:24 pm »

Nuclear-Strength Linthal 2015 Takes Shape In Swiss Alps

Yes, this is a picture of a dump truck being hoisted up a mountain on cables. And no, it’s not photoshopped. You’re looking at the largest cable lift in the world, almost 2 kilometers long and 600 meters high, with two towers, a load capacity of up to 40 tons, cables 90 mm thick, and a pretty good speed of 5 meters per second.

The system took three years to build. And transport dumpers are not the heaviest loads it can carry  :o, although they’re probably the most photogenic. ;D  The system can also lift whole ship containers.

Next surprise: this mammoth cable system is only a temporary fixture. It’s there to support construction of a huge $1.5 billion hydroelectric pumped-storage power plant called Linthal 2015.
Workers from the Linth-Limmern AG utility, its partners the Canton of Glarus and Axpo AG, are now building this electric Godzilla about an hour from Zurich, Switzerland, high in the rocky Glarner mountains of the eastern Alps. As you can see from the photo, the area is so mountainous that road access for construction is impossible—thus the cableways.

Peak energy demand in the European grid is growing steadily. Consumption patterns and forms of production have changed considerably since construction of the original infrastructure. Production peaks/shortfalls from renewable power sources may require balancing at short notice. Also, security of supply has become a higher priority. These considerations all increase the usefulness of electric generators with peak-power storage. As well as providing power, Linthal 2015 will basically act as a huge battery.

Workers expect to complete the plant next year. (Their grandparents had a little practice with this type of project, having built an artificial lake [the Limmernsee] and an earlier 480 MW power plant lower down the mountain, at 1,900m above sea level, in the 1960s.) The new storage lake (Muttsee) will be 600 meters higher up the mountain than the Limmernsee. The lakes will be connected via two headrace tunnels and produce a net hydraulic head of 623 meters (2,044 ft).


A huge, deep cave with an inclined underground access gallery will house all the turbine and transformer machinery. Planned pump and turbine power is about 1,000 MW. With the output from the original facility, the Linthal 2015 project will produce easily as much power as a nuclear generating station. It will rank among the top 15 pumped-storage plants in the world.

The cablecar system will be dismantled when a funicular railway inside the gallery is complete. The railway will transport large, heavy machine components—including 215-ton transformers—and personnel directly from the base installation site of Tierfehd, near the foot of the mountain, to the turbine cavern. 380 kV cables run along the gallery shoulders will transmit the generated power.

Now, would you like to hear about the avalanche protection system?    ;D OK, maybe next time…. (If you really want to know, access the article by Thomas Rentsch and Ruedi Stüssi in the online Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop 2009.)

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 02, 2014, 06:22:09 pm »

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