Hurricane Isaac to Stir Gulf Oil Spill Remains
As Hurricane Isaac wreaks havoc along the fragile coastline of the Gulf, sand dunes and rock barriers built to contain the 2010 Gulf oil spill are under a close watch for their effectiveness through the storm.
Louisiana has spent over $200 million on sand berms off its coast line for decades. After the 2010 spill, money from BP was used to build miles of dunes and rock walls along Dauphin Island, Alabama's largest barrier island in the Gulf. A set of parallel-running artificial dunes were built on the narrow western split of the island, while a rock wall was built in Alabama to close the gap.
As the town continues to struggle with an eroding shoreline, closing the cut in the island slowed the erosion and reduced the salinity in the Mississippi Sound, allowing the state to rebuild its oyster industry.
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As long as the water doesn't rise too high, the 10-foot-high dunes are expected to hold up to Isaac. Power, water and sewer lines will be somewhat protected, leading to shorter recovery times.
In Louisiana, $260 million worth of sand berms have been built around the mouth of the Mississippi River and BP has agreed to spend another $100 million rebuilding two coastal islands of the coast of New Orleans in the Chandeleur chain.
The islands in the area, dependent on the tourism industry, provide a crucial habitat for birds and fish nurseries. Experts are still unsure how the barriers will hold up against Isaac or how much new tar and oil from the Gulf spill will wash up.
"I think that's one of the great mysteries," William Graham, an oceanography professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, told Fox News. "What's still out there and what's buried and what will happen?"
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.