Energy Storage

Hydrostor Receives Funding for New A-CAES Project

A Canadian company that has led design efforts for advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) systems has received funding for development of a new 300-500-MW A-CAES facility.

Hydrostor, based in Toronto, Ontario, on April 15 announced a commitment of about $4 million for the project, which would be built in Canada, from Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Energy Innovation Program and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Hydrostor on Thursday said the money will be used “to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to take critical steps toward construction.” The company said the project will be modeled after Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility and provide up to 12 hours of long-duration energy storage.

Hydrostor’s A-CAES facility in Goderich, Ontario, came online in 2019 and was honored with a POWER Top Plant award in 2020. Courtesy: Hydrostor

The Goderich facility in Ontario, which came online in 2019, received a Top Plant award from POWER and was profiled in the September 2020 issue.

Hydrostor also is developing a large-scale A-CAES project in Rosamond, California, which the company has said could be online as early as 2024. The company in 2015 completed the Toronto Island Demonstration Facility, which was the world’s first grid-connected diabatic-CAES facility, serving Toronto Hydro.

Government Support

“We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long-duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition,” said Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO of Hydrostor. “This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector.”

Hydrostor, a private company founded in 2010, has said its A-CAES system “supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, employing the people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.”

“Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness,” said the  Honorable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”

Long-Duration Energy Storage

Hydrostor describes its technology as “a long-duration energy storage system that combines components from existing energy systems to create an advanced, emissions-free storage system that is low-impact, cost-effective, and can be located where the grid needs it.” The company touts A-CAES as a “scalable, reliable and bankable energy storage solution for utilities and regulators.”

The system works by utilizing renewable energy, or excess power from the grid, to compress air. The compressed air is then funneled into underground, purpose-built caverns, displacing water and creating storage capacity. Heat created by this process is captured and stored to reheat the compressed air when energy is needed.

Darrell Proctor is associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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