How to generate energy when there is no wind? This is the biggest dilemma faced by the wind energy farms. The wind-hydro plant is the first if its kind that will resolve the issue of no-energy production by the wind farms in the absence of a breeze.
Max Bögl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy are the two most renowned names in the domain of renewable energy. The duo collaborated to find a solution to this problem. The wind-hydro plant will merge the hydropower generation technology and wind energy production. The facility will be fully operational by 2018.
This renewable energy power plant will use both hydro as well as wind power production techniques to generate energy even if the wind is not blowing. The project will include the 584-feet-tall wind turbines that would be the world’s tallest. A reservoir containing 1.6 million gallons of water will serve as the turbine base. An additional reservoir with a storage capacity of 9 million gallons of water will also be built around the wind farm.
The design of the wind-hydro plant is suitable only for a hilly region. Water flowing down the hill will generate power. When the energy is not needed, the plant will pump this water back uphill. The mechanism allows continuous production of energy from the plant. The two companies have decided to install the first win-hydro power plant in the Swabian-Franconian Forest in Germany.
Cliff Harris, the onshore wind general manager for GE Renewable Energy, said in his statement:
“Germans in this area are known as tinkerers and inventors. So the mentality of this technology really fits with the population. It’s a bit risky, and it can’t work everywhere. But the plant will run for several decades, and we expect the benefits will be felt over that time.”
13.6 megawatts of energy will be produced by the wind farm while the hydropower plant will generate 16 megawatts. Four wind turbines will be added to the grid in late 2017 while the hydro-wind plant will be fully functional by the end of 2018. Germany aims to fulfil 45 percent of its energy needs via renewable energy, and this project is yet another step in this direction.