Wind Power Stored as Compressed Air

John Davis

New Jersey-based Energy Storage and Power says it is investing $20 million over the next three years to develop an underground compressed-air storage system for wind turbines and other power sources.

This story from C| says Energy Storage and Power is a joint venture formed by energy developer PSEG Global and Michael Nakhamkin, who designed the only compressed air-storage facility in the U.S.:

With Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), air is pumped into underground formations, such as depleted natural gas wells or salt caverns, using a natural gas-powered machine. The pressured air is released later to drive a turbine to make electricity.

The system allows for several hours or even days of stored energy, which allows power producers to deliver electricity during peak hours when the demand for electricity–and price–is highest.

Energy Storage and Power said that it intends to develop equipment for storing renewable power resources at a large scale. Utilities are already using more wind and solar, but energy storage means that they can be used more broadly since electricity can be “dispatched” as needed.

Energy Storage and Power joins General Compression in the commercial compressed-air storage wind energy business. General Compression is also designing a wind turbine that has a compressor built into the nacelle, the housing at the top of a wind turbine tower.