BT Team

Project Summary

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) identified a unique opportunity to transform abandoned coal mines into large scale power storage assets by implementing Pumped Storage Hydropower technology. The Virginia Tech Senior Design team partnered with DMME in the first phase of this program to create a site selection methodology using the ESRI ArcGIS platform to select optimal mines to implement this innovative technology. The project solution provides DMME with a scalable site selection methodology that provides an attribute-based, client-customizable method for reducing thousands of potential sites to a list of optimal mines for detailed engineering studies. Applied within the geospatial analytics platform of ArcGIS, the solution provides the foundation for an unprecedented technology implementation to transform abandoned coal mines in the Appalachian region into assets for large-scale electric power storage for renewable energy sources. The site selection methodology implementation for the VA DMME produces a 99.99% reduction in potential sites, identifying locations deemed qualified for follow-on engineering studies. This methodology will enable the first-ever implementation of a pumped storage hydropower system in an abandoned mine, with the potential to enable a multitude of similar implementations across the country.


ISE Senior Design Program
Hours: 8a.m. - 5p.m.
Ph: 540.231.1810

Matt Earnest, Director
Center for High Performance Manufacturing