The largest hydro-electric, pumped-storage power station in the world, the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, has operated since December 1985 here in Virginia. At full capacity (3003MW), it produces more instantaneous energy than the Hoover Dam! Pumped-storage projects like this provide a regularly scheduled renewable energy source, unlike wind and solar. Dominion Energy operates this station, and it is studying another site in Tazewell County this year to build another.
When comparing renewable energy sources, one should include an objective measure I'll call regularly scheduled renewable energy source. Renewable energy sources with higher regularity, greater certainty of a given power output, and longer output duration should be graded as more beneficial. Any renewable energy source that is variable in time of day, output power, and duration requires an always-running electric-generating baseline, such as natural gas, lessening the overall benefit of variable renewable energy sources.
When one studies the objective measure called regularly scheduled renewable energy source, one finds that harnessing the often light-and-variable wind energy on Virginia's mountaintops rates far less favorably than renewable energy options such as hydro-electric pumped-storage systems. I urge Virginia government leadership to strongly consider adopting this objective factor in any renewable energy comparison.