Red Lake hydrogen storage may be a bad choice
Regarding the proposed hydrogen storage complex on and under Red Lake, I see great advantage to the developer and great loss to Mohave County and its residents.
Mohave Green Energy Hub spokesman, Greg Bartlett is quoted as saying, “The project would involve generation of solar power that can be converted to hydrogen.” The only way I know of that electrical energy, solar or otherwise, can be converted to hydrogen, is via the use of massive amounts of electrical energy directly applied to water in the process of electrolysis, which would use monstrous amounts of the Hualapai aquifer’s rapidly shrinking and precious water body.
Bartlett continues, saying that the “project will include photovoltaic solar farms.” It is my understanding that certain components of the solar farms require water cooling in their normal function. If that is truly the case, I can envision yet more millions of gallons of precious Mohave County water going away.
Bartlett states that the generated hydrogen would be stored in caverns within underground salt domes beneath Red Lake. Those caverns do not exist. This cavern creation and gas storage scheme has been proposed and failed in the same area in the not too distant past. The insurmountable problem I see is that the technology to create these as yet non-existent caverns is by way of the use of “solution mining.” This process uses the high pressure injection of water via wells to dissolve the salt and flush it to the surface for spreading and evaporation, thus leaving empty spaces, (caverns) in place of the removed salt. This process would use untold millions upon millions of gallons of irreplaceable Mohave County water from the Hualapai aquifer.
Then, what of the damage to the existing water in the existing private wells of ranchers, farmers and private domestic holdings? What happens when the vast drawdowns of the Hualapai aquifer water levels required for this project begin to dry up those small wells? When the large corporations come to take advantage of politically and financially weak Mohave County and its private citizens, who benefits and who loses? I see huge benefit for outside interests who come here, sell their ideas to an innocent public, then execute their plan and depart, leaving behind them a legion of disillusioned and angry citizens.
In the case of this particular proposed plan, I see Mohave Green Energy Hub getting fat on federal monies. I see huge amounts of money leaving Mohave County in the form of hydrogen sales and I see little to zero benefit to the folks who work and live here. Worst of all , I see Mohave County’s water being pumped out, and used up for the benefit of those who do not and will not live here, nor will they bat an eye at the permanent loss of our water, the very essence of life that we all, who live here, depend on for our daily existence.
I suggest that every person reading this, and agreeing with me, telephone or write or visit in person, every office holder you can reach and tell them how you feel about your water being used to profit those who care nothing about Mohave County citizens.