Volcanic Rock: A New Home for Wind?

Volcanic Rock is the Potential New Home of Extra Wind - Image from Latimes.com
Volcanic Rock is the Potential New Home of Extra Wind – Image from Latimes.com

Both you and Mother Earth are told that you are blowing too much “hot air.” The difference between you and Mother Earth, though, is that your “hot air” isn’t quite welcome, while that of Mother Earth is more than welcome. In fact, there’s no such thing as “too much” air from her: As long as she keeps blowing it, they’ll find a place for it—at least out in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where volcanic rocks have actually become the new homes of extra wind.

This indeed is a unique concept—one that is allowing the US to take advantage of an abundance of green wind energy during the spring and summer seasons. When too much wind is blowing on wind farms, electricity generation can become out of sync in relation to consumers’ rise and fall of demand. For this reason, some wind farm owners have actually had to restrict the amount of wind energy they produce, which admittedly is counterintuitive to the overarching goal of becoming greener in today’s society.

However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Bonneville Power Administration, porous volcanic rocks located in the earth could store excess wind power, making this energy available for use when demanded. This idea is referred to as compressed air energy storage.

At a couple of sites, volcanic rock reservoirs can actually collect enough energy to supply power to a whopping 85,000 homes each month in the eastern part of the state of Washington. Without a doubt, at a time when tapping into the earth’s renewable energy sources is a priority but controlling the surplus of wind power is essential in managing the power grid out West, you can say that this green energy source has gotten its second wind.

By YaShekia King

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