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Powering the Dream by Alexis Madrigal

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chapter 25
Energy Storage and the Return of Compressed Air
IN 1991 A SMALL POWER PLANT opened up in McIntosh, Alabama, operated by the Alabama Electric Cooperative, one of the old public utility companies that brought power to the hinterlands of the deep South.
There was little fanfare. No one reported from the gates of the plant, which is located in a rural area about forty miles north of Mobile. It wouldn’t have been much to look at on the surface anyway. The plant’s footprint is about the same as the small high school that sits across Jefferson Davis Highway, if we include its football field and baseball diamond. A chemical factory in the area dwarfs the plant.
What matters about the McIntosh project is not so much what’s happening where ...

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