Making The Case for CAES
Storelectric Ltd is a developer of projects using two highly efficient forms of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) using existing technologies, at a grid scale, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Both Storelectric’s CAES systems offer 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.
An Established and Safe Solution
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, 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 systems (compression, expansion, generation) in a more compact arrangement with options that can eliminate the need for gas re-heating (TES CAES) or reduce the need for gas re-heating (CCGT CAES)making it environmentally friendlier. Both types of plant have a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) considerably cheaper than an OCGT.
Introduction to Storelectric’s CAES
A brief 2.5 minute video in which the founding directors, PwC and Siemens explain the proposal
European Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP)
Storelectric’s first project has been accepted both as a European Project of Common Interest and on the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) of the European Network Transmission Service Operators – Electricity (ENTSO-E) organisation set up by the European Commission. This means that SEL are officially recognised as important infrastructure at a continental scale. The accepted project is CARES (Compressed Air Renewable Energy Storage), item 1.12.3 on the list.
Now Storelectric can apply for funding from the €26bn Connecting Europe Facility, help gain access to other EU funding, and provide access to a single point of contact with a maximum 3.5-year period for all permits in any member state. Further projects could apply for PCI status in other Member States.
The two plants will be in separate companies / Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
Projects of Common Interest are managed by the European Commission under TEN-E regulations.
Extensive experience in government, project finance & infrastructure, incl. 20 yrs. as a PwC Corporate Finance partner.
CTO, and co-founder
Mark is leading the technical and operations side of the business, and the thermal storage technology.
Tallat is leading the management and commercial activities of Storelectric, and the CCGT CAES technology.
The Sunday Times, on 28th June 2015 identified Storelectric as 9th on their list of 10 companies to watch. Elsewhere in the same supplement, they correctly identified Compressed Air Energy Storage as being a green energy technology very close to commercialisation.