This nuclear plant is home to a stunning artificial reef
Nuclear power plants are not often associated with thriving animal populations, but one Emirati nuclear facility is putting the ‘three-eyed fish’ stereotype to shame.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)’s and Nawah Energy Company’s most recent survey of the marine environment off the coast of the Barakah nuclear energy plant has revealed the presence of numerous marine species in the facility’s artificial reef.
The survey has identified more than 63 species making use of the plant’s breakwater habitats and 35 in the artificial reef, created in 2014.
Construction on the breakwaters, barriers built to protect the facility from the force of incoming waves, was started in early 2011. The quarry rock and concrete structures have a combined length of roughly 15 kilometres.
Part of the reason that the barriers have become such favourable habitats is the restriction on fishing within their boundaries. Creatures spotted in the area include the orange-spotted grouper, locally known as the ‘hamour,’ the near-threatened Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.
The reef is located 3.8 kilometres from the the Barakah shoreline, covers almost 6,700 square metres and is made of waste-moulded concrete. Other plants and animals in the area includea variety of species of algae, invertebrate species, and several species of fish.
“We are consistently looking for ways to protect and enhance our natural environment,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC. “The findings of this recently conducted survey reveal that ENEC’s proactive approach to conservation and sustainability is having a positive impact. It is wonderful to hear that a variety of marine life, including endangered species have been able to settle in the waters around Barakah.”
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.