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Mine Storage and Dairyland Power Cooperative to Investigate Potential for Energy Storage in the US

Dairyland Power Cooperative

Mine Storage has entered into an agreement with Dairyland Power Cooperative to investigate the potential of jointly developing mine storages, i.e., grid-scale energy storages. The initial investigations to find sites are a collaboration between Mine Storage, Michigan Technological University, and Dairyland Power Cooperative, a power utility with 600 000 customers and operations across 4 states in the upper Midwest USA.


To decarbonize the energy system more weather dependent renewables are needed to replace fossil-fuelled sources. The electricity grid can’t store energy, which means that power needs to be consumed the instant moment it is produced and vice versa. Mine storages enables for more weather dependent renewables to be connected to the grid, as it can store large amounts of energy to balance out energy supply and demand.

The US government has identified energy storage as an integral part of the US net zero program for 2050. With the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law more than 460 billion US dollars will be invested into renewable energy projects where long-duration energy storage such as mine storages play an important role.

“The American market for energy storage is growing quickly,” said Mine Storage CEO Thomas Johansson. “We view Dairyland as a forward-thinking utility with an attractive location and a portfolio of energy resources. Dairyland also has a business strategy and corporate culture which makes a collaborative partnership ideal for us at Mine Storage when entering the U.S. market.”

A mine storage is a large-scale energy storage with very low environmental impact. It transforms a mine into a circular asset by using the mine as a water reservoir and utilizing the height difference and water to create a closed-loop pumped storage hydropower system. With excess generation from renewables, energy can be stored in the mine storage by pumping water from the mine to an upper water reservoir at ground level. When the demand for electricity is high, water is released to the mine through hydroelectric turbines and electricity is fed back into the grid.  

“To achieve carbon reduction goals, energy storage is a prerequisite. We see great potential in the mine storage concept since it provides a large-scale solution that is very flexible and utilizes closed mines for minimal environmental impact. We appreciate Mine Storage’s substantial knowledge on the industry and look forward to exploring options together,” says Brent Ridge, President and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative. 

The collaboration utilizes the Mine Storage WoWTM (Way of Working), a methodology developed by Mine Storage. It emanates from the business perspective of an infrastructure investment and as the preliminary business case is confirmed and suitable sites are identified, it expands into more detailed project development activities.

For more information, contact:
Thomas Johansson, co-founder and CEO of Mine Storage International, thomas.johansson@minestorage.com, +46 70 696 78 00


About Dairyland Power 

Dairyland Power Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative employing 550 people, was formed in December 1941. Headquartered in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland is a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative providing the wholesale electrical requirements and other services for 24 distribution cooperatives and 27 municipal utilities in the upper Midwest. These cooperatives and municipals, in turn, supply the energy needs of members and 600 000 customers in a four-state area.

Dairyland’s generating resources include coal, solar, wind, natural gas, hydro and biogas. Dairyland delivers electricity via nearly 3,200 miles of transmission lines and 300 substations located throughout the system’s 44,500 square mile service area that encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Please visit www.dairylandpower.com for more information on Dairyland Power Cooperative and its facilities.


About MTU 

Michigan Technological University will serve as a technical resource as Mine Storage and Dairyland explores potential development options. The university has led significant research and reporting on the potential of regional pumped hydro storage systems.


2 Responses

  1. Glad to see this initiative is being seriously investigated; the use of deep underground mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for pumped storage hydropower systems (PSHS) have great potential as environmentally-acceptable electrical power “storage batteries.” Additionally, there are abandoned large open pit mines (e.g., the Republic Mine and Groveland Mine) that have filled with water at a lower elevation than the surrounding terrain and may be candidates worthwhile investigating.

    1. Thank you for providing us with a couple of alternative mine sites! Much appreciated to see that kind of engagement!

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