About Storelectric

Making The Case for CAES

Storelectric Ltd is a developer of projects using 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.

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Storelectric’s systems both use 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.
TES CAES, licensed from TES CAES Technology Limited (majority owned by the principal shareholders of Storelectric Ltd), is adiabatic – meaning that it does not have to burn gas. It is therefore highly efficient (60-70% round trip, depending on plant size) and zero emissions. It is therefore an ideal solution for zero carbon grids, as well as for the transition to them.
CCGT CAES is Storelectric’s own technology, and is diabatic – meaning that it burns gas during regeneration. It has a slightly lower round trip efficiency (55-60% for FOAK) and emissions slightly over half that of a similarly sized CCGT. It is cheaper to build and, uniquely, can be retro-fitted to existing power stations (both CCGT and OCGT) provided they are over the right geology, and is therefore an ideal technology for the transitional period to a zero carbon grid.
Storelectric is also working on some longer term technologies.
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, so that large-scale storage can be implemented successfully in most regions.

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, and both need to be new-built using specially adapted equipment.

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) {add space} making it environmentally friendlier. Both use standard equipment and therefore have access to the entire range of frame sizes of any manufacturer, and CCGT CAES can be retro-fitted to suitably located power stations. 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 “third PCI list“, see page 5, accessible through their website..

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 of the CARES project will be in separate companies / Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). The project promoter is Storelectric Ltd, licensing the TES CAES technology from TES CAES Technology Limited.

Projects of Common Interest are managed by the European Commission under TEN-E regulations.

Benefits, and Inter-Seasonal Storage

Professor Seamus Garvey held an industry / academic meeting at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers earlier this year, concluding that the cost of the energy transition will rocket without large-scale long-duration storage (which he calls “medium-duration”). This is a very reassuring confirmation of what we’ve been saying for seven years. He also demonstrates, as we have been saying for years, that very little (or no?) inter-seasonal storage is required if we have the appropriate proportions of solar and wind generation. To read the full article please click here.

Our Team

Mark Howitt

CTO and co-founder

Mark is leading the technical and operations side of the business, and the thermal storage technology.

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Mark is leading the technical and operations side of the business, and the thermal storage technology.
BSc (Hons) Physics with Electronics at UMIST. Member of the Chartered Management Institute, and Institute for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship. A dynamic and experienced business consultant and senior manager with a proven track record of success within many market sectors and functions. Both commercially and technically innovative and results orientated. Strong skills and well balanced track record of success in strategic planning, operational leadership, business improvement, R&D, marketing, manufacturing, procurement and supply chain, sales and capital investment. Set up three business units for Bombardier
Transportation, in non-destructive testing (for which he initiated and managed the R&D), workshop engineering and logistics. Immense number and range of contacts in diverse industries. Currently working as an innovation, marketing and management consultant primarily in renewable energy, energy storage, electrical products and chemicals. Was SME Project Manager of an EU financed R&D and commercialisation programme. Advisor on retaining intellectual property for renewable energy. Managed multi-site, multi-functional teams including technical experts in diverse fields.

Tallat Azad

Managing Director

Tallat is leading the management and commercial activities of Storelectric, and the CCGT CAES technology.

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BSc (Hons) Mechanical Engineering at UMIST. Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. GEC Turbine Generators at Stafford, UK, spending the first 5 years of his career in the R&D department of the Turbo-generator unit. Moved to ABB Power Generation in Switzerland as a Product Manager for turbo-generators, followed by the business development of a new business unit selling turbo-generators worldwide to non ABB prime movers. This business was merged with the equivalent in ALSTOM during the merger with ABB in 1999 and Tallat was then given the General Management role for both units.
Following a year as Director of a new Compressed Air Energy Storage development programme, Tallat joined the Steam Turbine Retrofit Business as Director for the newly formed Integrated Retrofit group. As a member of the executive management team he was instrumental in the development of this new group since its inception, growing it to over a 100 employees and a turnover of over 100M€. In October 2015 Tallat left Alstom to work on several energy management projects.

Jeff Draper

CFO and co-founder

Jeff is leading the corporate, financial and trading side of Storelectric, and the hydrogen technology.

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Jeff is leading the corporate, financial and trading side of Storelectric, and the hydrogen technology.

Chartered Accountant, qualifying with Arthur Andersen in 1987. Joint Honours degree in Mathematics and Physics at Manchester University. Partner in accountancy firm, specialising in audit. Built up and sold award-winning 70 branch enterprise from 1997-2005. Built up own large property portfolio of over 30 commercial units. Extensive experience in preparation and management of annual budgets for large companies, monthly management accounts / forecasts and profitability analysis, raising finance and exit routes. Proven track record in business development. Expert in UK renewable energy infrastructure and strategy. Jeff’s combination of both strong financial and scientific skills and experience gives him a valuable and rare insight into the financial and scientific factors that need to be overcome to make present-day renewables projects commercially viable.

Paul Davies

Advisor to The Board

Extensive experience in government, project finance & infrastructure, incl. 20 yrs. as a PwC Corporate Finance partner.

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Former Senior Partner, PwC Corporate Finance, and previously a senior investment banker in project finance at HSBC. He has long experience in the financing and structuring of major infrastructure (especially green infrastructure) and companies. He initiated the Green Deal Investment Company to enable government policy at the time, and was also instrumental in the financing and corporate structure of a CCS project, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the widening of the M25, London Underground PPP and many other infrastructure deals.

Paul’s other current engagements are:

  • Advisor to BEIS and chairman of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Use and Storage) Advisory Group
  • Head of Finance and Investment for the Indo-UK Institute of Health (IUIH) a relatively new company planning to build 11 X 1,000 bed hospitals across India and a large number of associated clinics.
  • Adviser to the Department for Transport on its IEP contracts for the procurement of its new fleet of trains on the West and East Coast Mainline.
  • Adviser to Highways England on the Lower Thames Crossing and A303 Stonehenge Projects, which are planned to be procured through Public Private Partnership.
  • Adviser to the Civil Aviation Authority on the regulation of the proposed financing of Heathrow’s Runway 3.
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.

The Sunday Times