Nova Scotia gold mine could host PV-plus-pumped hydro storage energy hub

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From pv magazine ESS News site

Australian mining company St Barbara has announced that its Nova Scotia-based branch Atlantic Mining will team up with Natural Forces, an independent power producer specializing in renewables, to explore whether Touqoy Gold Mine can be repurposed.

The duo wants to convert the mine site into a closed-loop pumped hydro energy storage system combined with solar photovoltaic panels.

The first step is conducting a feasibility study. This will begin later in the month, with the first conceptual design due at the end of the year.

“We are optimistic about this project’s feasibility,” said Robert Apold, director at Natural Forces. “It champions innovative solutions here at home and aligns with our mission to harness natural resources for the economic benefit and environmental future of Nova Scotian communities.”

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The team seeks to establish a closed-loop system pumping water from the open-pit lake up to a reservoir onsite for storage of water, ready for hydro energy generation on the release of water back to the open pit when required. Energy will be stored until it is required, easing pressure on the grid.

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If the concept is viable the companies have promised they will involve the local community in any proposed developments. Natural Forces, which currently has approximately 300 MW of operational renewable energy projects in Canada, has community partnerships in many of the countries it operates in. Besides Canada, it has branches in Ireland and France.

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