A $200 million wind power plant is slated to be built near Dallas Center in Central Iowa. While that might not be that unique, the fact that much of the operation will be underground sure is. A unique underground rock formation in the area makes the Iowa Stored Energy Plant Agency idea possible. Gotta love that wind captured in a jar logo! Click here to see a demo of the project.
This article in the Des Moines Register explains how it will work:
The process uses wind energy to force air into the underground shale formation as far as 3,000 feet below ground. The compression is usually done through the night when electrical use is not at its peak. Then, during the day, the compressed air is brought back up and used to run turbines that create electricity.
The majority of power used to compress the air would come through the existing power grid from wind generators in the northern areas of Iowa.
As the air moves through the rock, water that is currently in the rock is displaced to the surrounding area.
Officials say the water forced from the rock is not water that is used by the area population and is not drinkable.
The project is years from even a groundbreaking ceremony… probably not until 2011 or 2012. Area residents are invited to a public meeting about the project tonight (Thursday, May 16th), at 7 at the Dallas Center Memorial Hall, 1502 Walnut Street.
If anyone who reads this blog goes to the meeting, let us know how it goes.