The Prosper-Haniel mine will become an underground hydroelectric power station. With 200 MW of maximum power to provide clean energy to 400,000 homes.
Germany will transform a coal mine into a large hydroelectric power station. The German Prosper-Haniel field will cease to be a coal mine. From 2018, Germany will not mine any anthracite coal mines. The abandoned mines will be given a new role, which will contribute to the development of renewable energies in this country.
Thus, a coal mine operated for 50 years, located in the mining basins of the North Rhine, will be transformed into a hydroelectric pumping station with a capacity of 200 MW. It will store excess solar and wind energy and produce electricity when there is no wind or sun.
By producing 200 MW of energy, it will be able to power up to 400,000 homes, combining different technologies to avoid blackouts. This will be ensured by installing solar panels and wind turbines to take advantage of sunlight and wind power, respectively.
The plant will also have a system that will pass water through the mine passages to the turbines, which will generate electricity.
When fully operational, it will be filled with one million cubic meters of water at a pressure of 60 bars.
If necessary, operators can launch water from a height of 1,200 meters to start the turbines. This mining complex has up to 26 kilometers of galleries.
This type of hydroelectric power station is already widely used around the world, especially in the mountainous regions of northern Europe and in the United States. In this case, however, the height difference of the two reservoirs is used, one is created on the surface and the other is underground.
This measure helps revitalize the region that has needed fossil fuels for energy production for decades. If this initiative is successful, the other mines in the area will also be transformed into hydropower plants to achieve the goal of generating 30% of energy consumption through renewable energies by 2025.
This plant will generate a third of the demand across the country, since the vast majority of energy comes from thermal plants that use coal to produce energy.
The University of Duisburg-Essen is participating in the project.
It is undoubtedly a prime example of the transition to a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy model that all countries of the world should follow.
Learn more about Germany’s transition from coal here: