Menu

Blog

May 1, 2021

World’s largest compressed air grid “batteries” will store up to 10GWh

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

California is set to be home to two new compressed-air energy storage facilities – each claiming the crown for the world’s largest non-hydro energy storage system. Developed by Hydrostor, the facilities will have an output of 500 MW and be capable of storing 4 GWh of energy.

As the world shifts towards renewable energy, grid-scale storage is becoming ever more crucial. Getting carbon emissions to net-zero will require a patchwork of technologies to smooth out unpredictable and inconvenient generation curves, with pumped hydro, huge lithium-ion batteries, tanks full of molten salt or silicon, thermal bricks, or heavy blocks stacked up in towers or suspended in mineshafts all in the mix.

Pumped hydro accounts for around 95 percent of the world’s grid energy storage and gigwatt-capacity plants have been in operation since the 1980s. The problem is that you need a specific type of location and a staggering amount of concrete to build a pumped hydro plant, which works against the goal of reaching net zero. Rotting vegetation trapped in dams also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the biggest mega-batteries built so far are only in the 200 MW/MWh range, though installations bigger than 1 GW are planned.

Leave a reply