Storelectric Ltd is a developer of highly efficient forms of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) using existing technologies, at a grid scale, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Storelectric’s CAES system offers the ability not only to generate electricity but also store it when there is excess, to respond to intermittency issues and to provide ancillary services to the grid. When there is surplus electricity on the grid, Storelectric’s CAES uses it to compress air to around 70 bar pressure, also storing the heat. When electricity is required, air and heat are released through turbines to generate it. Power rating of storage, power rating of discharge and amount of energy stored are all independent variables in the design of these plants, enabling it to be optimised for baseload, fast response, interconnection, wind farm management and many other load cases.
Storelectric’s system uses well-established engineering (from, for instance, the underground storage of natural gas) and existing, off-the-shelf equipment and technology in unique configurations. Thus Storelectric’s CAES uniquely will make both existing traditional and renewable generation profitable without subsidy, at today’s prices, whilst also dramatically cutting emissions and provide energy security to countries and regions.
With the support of PwC, Storelectric has developed a consortium of blue-chip partners, which already includes Siemens (Dresser Rand), Alstom (GE Power), Balfour Beatty Investments, National Grid, Dentons, Morgan Stanley Renewables, a multinational chemicals company and the Universities of Edinburgh, Chester, Dublin, St Andrews and Imperial College, to begin delivering the UK and international rollout of Storelectric’s CAES system. National Grid, Siemens and Balfour Beatty have started due diligence on Storelectric.
The forecast imbalances in the energy markets, and their consequent need for storage in the UK and internationally, are at multi-Gigawatt and multi-terawatt-hour scale. Therefore, Storelectric is working on a number of schemes, using both salt caverns and other geologies including aquifers and depleted gas fields, so that large-scale storage can be implemented successfully in most regions.
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CAES is well known, having been built in Huntorf, Germany in 1978 and McIntosh, Alabama, US in 1991. Both plants continue daily to operate successfully and safely, providing vital grid balancing services in both places, so valuable that recently Huntorf was upgraded from 290MW to 310MW (McIntosh is 110MW). Both plants store their air in subterranean salt caverns. However, existing CAES facilities have had relatively low efficiency rates (42-54%), using gas to re-heat decompressing air, rather than adiabatic technology.
In contrast, Storelectric and its current partners have designed its power system (compression, expansion, generation) such that existing, off-the-shelf technologies can be used in a more compact arrangement with options that can eliminate the need for gas re-heating, making it 100% renewable. As a result, round trip efficiency is forecast to range between 60-70% depending on variant used and capital costs little higher than those of a gas-fired peaking plant (OCGT) in £/MW.
Our technologies can be explored more here.
A brief 2.5 minute video in which the founding directors, PwC and Siemens explain the proposal
Storelectric seeks investment, initially to finalise the following milestones
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The European Network Transmission Service Operators - Electricity (ENTSO-E) organisation set up by the European Commission has included Storelectric's CAES project in Cheshire (1x40MW plant and 1x500MW plant in a single project) in their Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). This means that we are officially recognised as important infrastructure at a continental scale. They are considering the next stage, which is full PCI approval.
Full PCI approval will give access to funding from the €26bn Connecting Europe Facility, improved access to other EU funding, and a single point of contact with a maximum 3.5-year period for all permits in any member state. This assistance will greatly speed the roll-out of full-scale plants across the EU and other ENTSO-E member states.
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