Current CAES projects
- LARNE – Gaelectric 330MW CAES project (link) (video). Advanced energy storage project deploying CAES technology. This facility will generate up to 330 MW of power for periods of up to 6 hours. It will create demand of up to 200 MW during its compression cycle. The project involves the creation of two storage caverns within salt deposits which are a feature of the east Antrim coastal areas of Northern Ireland. These caverns will be located at depths of greater than 1400 m below ground. The facility will be highly responsive and will be capable of providing a range of tools to system operators in their management of the transmission grid.
- Chinese Academy of Science (link): 3 projects generating: 1.5, 10 and 100MW, based on cylinder storage with heat recovery and 65-70% efficiency.
- ADELE – RWE GE – the first adiabatic 200MW CAES project (pdf) (video). The first adiabatic CAES project; the heat that appears during compression is also stored, and then returned to the air when the air is expanded. Construction will begin in 2013 in Staßfurt, a city in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany (ADELE stands for the German acronym for adiabatic compressed air energy storage for electricity supply). The project is a joint effort between RWE, General Electric, Zueblin, and the German Aerospace Center. The German Federal Ministry of Economics is also providing state funding. Altogether, the project members will contribute an amount of EUR 10 million.
- Pollegio-Loderio Tunnel ALACAES Demonstration Plant 0.5MW (link). A demonstration plant to test a novel advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage concept. An abandoned tunnel in the Swiss alps is used as the air storage cavern and a packed bed of rocks thermal energy storage is used to store the heat created during compression. The thermal energy storage is placed inside the pressure cavern. Project construction concluded in April 2016. The project is operating in the commissioning phase from April 2016 until June 2016. In June 2016 the plant will start full operation.
Previous CAES projects
- Huntorf CAES plant in Germany – First commercial 321MW CAES plant, in operation since 1978, injects the air into two caverns of 310,000 m³ total volume (pdf)(pdf).
- McIntosh CAES plant in USA – The 2nd commercial 110MW CAES plant, in operation since 1991, stores compressed air in a salt cavern with ten million cubic foot total volume (video) (link) (pdf). The cavern is pressurized to 1,100 psi, and it is discharged down to 650 psi. The cavern can discharge for 26 hours. The plant utilises cheap night-time power for compression and then produces peak power during the day by releasing the compressed air into a 110-MW gas-fired combustion turbine. The turbine unit also makes use of an air-to-air heat exchanger to preheat air from the cavern with waste heat from the turbine. The waste heat recovery system reduces fuel usage by roughly 25%. The system is fully operational within 15 minutes, uses a third of the fuel required for a fuel-only generating system, and can operate efficiently at low loads. The project is used for peak shaving.