Riverbank moving forward with Maine project

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada 8/28/09 (PennWell) — Test results of rock samples at a project site in Wiscasset, Maine, show that the site is fit for the development of an underground hydropower plant, said Riverbank Power Corp., the project’s developer.

The 1,000-MW pumped-storage project would be built 2,000 feet underground near the Back River and would use gravity to drop river water through four 250-MW turbines. The water would be temporarily stored underground and pumped back into the river.

Riverbank has identified 15 sites in the United States and Canada, where its Aquabank technology could be used to generate power.

The company recently dropped plans to build an Aquabank system near Sparta, N.J., because test results showed that the location was not fit for the development of an underground facility.

“Our scientific testing has shown that the geology under the quarry could not sustain a project of this scope,” said John Douglas, Riverbank’s chief executive officer. “Our tests have revealed that the rock where our turbines and reservoirs would be created is a poor fit for our project.”

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has received proposals to build at least 22 pumped-storage projects in 11 states. (HydroWorld 4/1/09)

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