A massive pumped hydro energy storage project proposed for lakes around the Niagara Falls would store a staggering 10GW, making it the planet’s largest pumped hydro site with four times the capacity of China’s Huizhou Pumped Storage Power Station, the current world number one.
Currently just a gleam in the eye of cleantech entrepreneur Roger Faulkner, the proposed Isthmus of Niagara project has the huge advantage that it would not need any land to be flooded as it relies on the 99.4m average height difference between Lakes Ontario and Eerie. The idea would be to connect these two huge bodies of water with a cana, rather than building two enormous artificial reservoirs.
Faulkner has factored in a 30cm change in the water level of the lakes between charging and discharging, which he insists is less than the lakes’ natural seasonal variation. He makes the case for his proposal having a lower environmental impact than traditional pumped hydro energy storage projects but acknowledges that it would be an enormous engineering project, needing a vast amount of political will in order to see it through to completion.