Hydropower in New England:
|Nuclear power stations are used
for providing base load, the electrical power that remains steady
around the clock. To handle peak load, utilities use smaller
power plants --- especially, hydropower --- because they can be brought
on line in a hurry.
There is little hydropower available in New England. So how can utilities have any reserves for peak load? They make use of so-called pumped-hydro. When power demand is low, nukes provide electricity to pump water up to a reservoir from which it can be released through electrical generators during periods of high demand. In this way, the nuke is providing peak-load power.
Overheard at a tour of a pumped-hydro station in Massachusetts: "This is really great! Why don't they generate all electricity this way?"
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