Compressed Air Storage is Getting a Fresh Look

Michael Giberson

Just as Lynne was suggesting the importance of energy storage

If we had more efficient and distributed energy storage, then we could store wind-generated power near the source when lines are congested, and store it near demand by transmitting it when lines are not congested. Distributed energy storage gets us a one-two punch here, because it simultaneously addresses the transmission congestion problem and the wind intermittency problem.

… an established electric utility company in New Jersey, PSEG, announces a major joint venture intending to bring energy storage to the grid. A New York Times article provides a little more background.

Just speculating based on no more than a press release and a news story, but this should be very big news, eventually. PSEG has the resources to develop this project, and the intelligence to decide whether or not this will pay off, and apparently they have decided it is likely to pay off.


4 thoughts on “Compressed Air Storage is Getting a Fresh Look

  1. Compressed air energy storage is indeed likely to play a very big role for wind once we reach very high penetrations of renewables on the grid (i.e. above 20% of our electricity compared to 1% today). For those interested in this technology and its applicability for wind, I recently authored a report about this topic here http://www.princeton.edu/~ssuccar/caesReport.html

    cheers,
    Samir Succar, PhD
    Princeton University

  2. Thanks for the tip, I’ve needed to dig a little deeper into energy storage technologies and your report looks like it will be useful on CAES.

    -Mike

  3. It’s possible that PSE&G thinks the project will pay off.

    But it’s also possible that NJ’s combination of corrupt government, high per-capita incomes, and green consciousness work together to support projects with bad economics.

    I don’t know. But I do live in NJ.

  4. Thanks for your NJ perspective on the project, and we can’t dismiss the idea that a regulated utility may make investments primarily for their effect on regulator opinions. Nonetheless, an interesting development.

    I noted a day later or so that General Electric is investing a lot into research on wind turbine design, but nothing really directed at energy storage in conjunction with wind. The article – I can’t find the link at the moment – indicated that GE believes that there is enough “energy storage in the grid” to manage the variation in wind power output.

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