German coal mine to be converted into hydroelectric battery

German coal mine to be converted into hydroelectric battery

A German coal mine will be transformed into a hydroelectric battery, as the European nation looks to convert its carbon-based energy sources into renewable facilities.

The RAG AG-owned Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine in North Rhine-Westphalia will undergo the transformation into a large battery that stores solar and wind energy by 2018.

The mine has been in operation in the region since 1974, however the end of its mine life will not spell the end for its workers, who will remain at the site, undertaking different daily tasks.

When the mine’s reincarnation is completed, the site will evolve into a 200MW pumped storage hydroelectric reservoir, with enough energy stored to power over 400,000 homes.

Sometimes, as much as 1 million cubic metres of water could be allowed to plunge down 1,200 metres, turning turbines at the base of the 26km-deep colliery’s mine shafts.

This renewable energy boost is much needed after Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions rose last year, ahead of its 2020 target to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% compared with 1990 levels.