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The Hoover Dam billion dollar change to store more energy

Hoover Dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River (Pixabay/MGN Online)

The Hoover Dam was a 20th century marvel, but engineers say it is time for the dam to hit its full potential.

Engineers at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power want to create a water station and pipeline powered by solar and wind energy to produce renewable energy to be stored during down times.

The pipeline would pump water uphill behind the dam, which would then be used when the energy is needed late at night or when the sun does not shine.

Reiko Kerr with the DWP said they use the power to shift it when the system needs it. While wind is not a big asset in Nevada, solar energy already exists.

"Right now, the department has about 500 megawatts of power in the Nevada area, in the LV area," Kerr said.

While civil engineer David James of UNLV said it's technically feasible and the technology is there, there are questions about how to make it happen, including how it could change or cause a disruption to those living along the Colorado River.

"How much water, what is the scheduling of the moving of the water, how much energy you are proposing to generate," UNLV’s David James said.

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