Check back regularly for new FAQ's from interested stakeholders, and contact us if you have a question of your own.
What is the speed of your tunneling technology?
1.03 km per day thru hard rock, assuming a 1-meter diameter. With increased power, both speed and diameter can be increased. On the flip side, without access to adequate power supply, the tunneling speed will decrease. When boring thru organics (soil, etc.) or softer rock, the speed increases.
How much will a typical tunnel cost?
We cover 100% of the costs to engineer, permit and build a tunnel. We lease the tunnel to our customers on long-term contracts (generally 50 years). So, the lease payment will vary based on tunnel length, diameter, geographical location, specific geology (how difficult is the boring, including any fractures), desired tunnel wall lining options, etc. Note that we expect our tunneling costs to be up to 70-90% less expensive per km than conventional TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines). We may ask our customers to pay for a 3rd party geotechnical or geophysical feasibility study before we commit resources to the development of a tunnel.
Where will Red Gopher operate?
States or provinces where we will do business must have aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards, written, binding 100% renewable energy goals, and be making tangible progress towards those goals. Our power supply will always be 100% renewable energy, and therefore we need to ensure that any jurisdiction we enter is on a clear path to being carbon-free as soon as realistically possible. We intend to dramatically accelerate the implementation of those goals set by the cities, counties, states, provinces, and countries that we do business in.
How will Red Gopher operate as a business?
Red Gopher is set up as a B (Benefit) Corporation, required to have a public purpose. We intend to set up tunnel projects as not-for-profit cooperatives. We believe these tunnels should be owned by the people & companies who will use them, rather than government agencies, Wall Street or big energy companies. Although Red Gopher Corporation owns the intellectual property of our boring machines, each tunnel network will be its own Cooperative.
How is the Red Gopher able to bore so fast at a lower cost?
We use robotic non-mechanical means to bore tunnels. No workers in the tunnel, no diesel engines with exhaust, no complicated machinery to maintain and fix when it breaks, no thermal heat maximum to stay below before drill bits melt (there are no drill bits in the Red Gopher), and we use super low-cost wind & solar to power our process (far cheaper than diesel fuel or even conventional grid power).
What are some other applications for Red Gopher, besides connecting solar and wind energy?
The applications for our better boring machines are disruptive and far-reaching. Imagine better, faster, cheaper tunnels for precise, low-cost infrastructure, including district /centralized heating and cooling; energy/heating & cooling storage; access to geothermal energy; pipelines for water/hydrogen/CO2/etc; telecommunications (fiber optics); Hyperloop transportation tubes... the possibilities are endless.
When will Red Gopher begin digging tunnels?
We will begin to bore short demo tunnels in late 2017, and begin boring tunnels for preferred customers with our Alpha prototype in late 2018. In 2019, our Beta prototype will be complete and we will begin full operations.