Construction of world’s largest dam to commence within months
The first phase of the seven-stage Grand Inga project — a proposed hydropower scheme along the Congo River — could go ahead in the next few months, despite concerns over funding and social and environmental impacts.
The Inga 3 dam, valued at US $14 billion, will span one channel of the Congo River at Inga Falls and will feature a 4,800MW hydro-electric plant. Once complete, the dam will be the largest in the world and could begin generating electricity within the next five years.
In total, Grand Inga comes with a price tag of US $100 billion and stands to produce up to 40,000 MW of electricity — more than a third of the total electricity currently being produced in Africa.
Proponents of the project claim it could eventually provide over 40 percent of Africa’s electricity. However, it is believed that as many as 35,000 people could be displaced during the construction process, which could also have dire consequences for the river’s fish populations.
Peter Bosshard, the Interim Director of the US-based International Rivers NGO, has warned that the Congolese government does not intend to carry out social or environmental impact assessments before construction begins.
In fact, the Congolese government is fast-tracking construction of the Inga 3 in order to fulfil a contract which has promised the South African government 2,500MW of electricity from the dam by 2021.
Two of China’s largest dam builders are expected to start construction by August.
Read the May 2016 issue of Energy Digital magazine
Photo courtesy of International Rivers.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.