Braidwood Clean Energy Inc. is working towards making our electricity supply clean, i.e. zero carbon, or as near as possible to zero.
To do this our vision is for a solar farm backed by energy storage using a water battery, or off-river pumped hydro. Potentially this could supply Braidwood’s electricity independent of the main electricity grid, and hopefully cheaper.
Going off-grid could be vital during emergencies (fires, storms, etc) if long supply lines to Braidwood are cut. Besides, the sun shines and the wind blows everywhere, so it makes sense to collect energy locally where it is needed.
We would hope eventually to integrate roof-top solar and home batteries, and also to assist the community to reduce energy needs (for example by weather-proofing etc).
Pumped Hydro (off-river) storage is the most novel part. It is illustrated here. There are two storage ponds connected by a pipe. The pipe passes through a pump/generator at the bottom.
When plenty of solar power is available, water is pumped up to the top pond, thus storing energy. When power is needed, the water is run down through the generator, converting the stored energy back into electricity. The water collects in the lower pond for re-use. Total water needs are small.
The water battery can smooth the delivery of solar (and wind) power, storing when there is plenty (for hours or even days) and giving back when demand is high.
What the Water Battery is not
- It is not on a watercourse, so it does not disrupt environmental flows
- It is not a big hydroelectric dam; the ponds would be like large farm dams
- There are no tunnels, like in Snowy 2.0 (which is a very poor example of a very good idea)
- Once a pond is filled, the system only needs to replace water lost to evaporation and leakage, so continuing water needs are small
This site is being re-established after its predecessor (braidwoodcleanenergy.org.au) was lost in a change of server ownership. More to come. Contact geoffdavies1944 at gmail dot com .