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. These forms are known as TES CAES and CCGT CAES.
Both Storelectric’s CAES systes 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.
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, is adiabatic - meaning that it does not have to burn gas. It is therefore highly efficient (60-70% round trip, depending on plant size, for the first-of-a-kind [FOAK] plant, increasing in future plants) 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.
Storelectric has developed a consortium of blue-chip partners, which already includes Siemens (Dresser Rand), Alstom (GE Power), PwC, National Grid, Dentons, 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 systems (compression, expansion, generation) such that existing, off-the-shelf technologies can be used in a more compact arrangement with options that can eliminate (TES CAES) or reduce (CCGT CAES) the need for gas re-heating, making it environmentally friendlier. As a result, round trip efficiency is forecast to range between 60-70% (TES CAES) or 55-60% (CCGT CAES) depending on plant size, variant used and capital costs little higher than those of a gas-fired peaking plant (OCGT) in £/MW. Both types of plant have a levellised cost of electricity (LCOE) considerably cheaper than an OCGT.
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
Please enquire for further details.
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. We are applying for the next stage, which is full PCI approval.
Full PCI approval would, if and when granted, enable Storelectric to 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).
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