Hydrostor, headquartered in Toronto, announced the appointment of Kiewit Engineering Group to conduct front-end engineering and design studies for the 500 MW/4 GWh Willow Rock Energy Storage Center. When finished, the facility will be California’s biggest independent energy storage project.
Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology will be used in the project. According to the business, this device can deliver low-cost, emissions-free long-term energy storage (LDES). Using intermittent wind and solar energy, the project will store enough energy to power 400,000 households for eight hours.
Hydrostor’s technology accumulates and distributes energy in four steps. It first draws off-peak or excess energy from the grid, resulting in warm compressed air. The heat from the air stream is then collected and stored in thermal storage, storing the energy for later use.
The compressed air is then kept in a tank, which uses the hydrostatic compensation mechanism to keep the pressure constant throughout the operation. When the energy is needed, pressure pulls air to the surface, where it is recombined with heat and sent through a turbine, creating dispatchable power.
“Hydrostor continues to make significant progress at Willow Rock, and we look forward to working with Kiewit’s world-class engineering and construction teams to move this crucial clean energy project ahead. Our worldwide teams are paving the path toward realising aggressive net-zero targets,” stated Hydrostor CEO Curtis VanWalleghem. Willow Rock will be capable of removing the equivalent of around 120,000 automobiles from the road each year.”
Hydrostor announced a US$250 million preferred stock financing commitment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in January. To meet Hydrostor’s finance needs and speed up project execution, Goldman Sachs will fund its investment in tranches connected to project milestones. The money will also be used to assist the company’s worldwide development and marketing efforts, as well as the expansion of its project pipeline.
“There is a definite demand for utility-scale long-duration energy storage,” said Charlie Gailliot, partner at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The A-CAES solution from Hydrostor is well positioned to become a key player in this developing worldwide industry.
The California Energy Commission announced in June 2021 that it will purchase 1,000 MW of long-duration energy storage with periods of eight hours or longer to be triggered between 2026 to 2028.
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