Energy Storage

14 Jan 2022

New Investor will Propel Hydrostor's Plans for Energy Storage

14 Jan 2022  by   

Canadian-based energy company Hydrostor has big plans to build a facility in Morro Bay that could store 20 percent of the energy the grid will lose when Diablo Canyon closes—and now, the company is backed by a Fortune 500 company.

Photo Courtesy Of Hydrostor

Hydrostor announced Jan. 10 that Goldman Sachs Asset Management has invested $250 million in the energy company. The investment will support Hydrostor's project development around the world, including the proposed Morro Bay site. Hydrostor's compressed-air energy technology stores excess energy created during off-peak hours, which can be used when needed.

"We can provide a continuous discharge at [400 megawatts for] eight hours of storage energy that you've taken from off-peak hours from the grid," Hydrostor President Jon Norman told New Times. "Diablo is about five times that size, so it's about a fifth of Diablo's capacity. We're looking forward to being part of that solution."

A video on Hydrostor's YouTube page shows how air is compressed using surplus electricity from the grid, which generates heat that's captured in a thermal store, eliminating the need for fossil fuel use. Once that heat is extracted, the compressed air is stored and can be converted into electricity on demand.

"We really see [Goldman Sachs' investment] as corroboration that advanced compressed air energy storage is really a critical solution pathway globally," Norman said. "That kind of flexibly located mechanical energy storage that is reliable, doesn't degrade, lasts a really long time—that need is only increasing. I think the fact that Goldman Sachs is looking to develop this is just more proof point."

The proposed plant, dubbed the Pecho Energy Storage Center, will need to get approval from state and local agencies before Hydrostor can break ground. Right now Hydrostor is awaiting certification from the California Energy Commission.

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