Next station: energy storage

Gravity and rolling stock are the keys to Jim Kelly’s Advanced Rail Energy Storage concept. An electric motor powered by surplus electricity propels a train up a slope and when the electricity is required during periods of higher demand or low supply, the train is allowed to roll back downhill, turning the same motor, which now acts as a generator.

And like so many other energy storage concepts, the scale is big: in this case, eight miles long. This is the length of track planned for the Tehachapi mountains in California, which should be able to store up to 500MW of power.

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