Next Generation Compressed Air Energy Storage
Public Service Enterprise Group announced plans to partner with Dr. Nakhamkin to work towards a new generation of energy storage that can be used in conjunction with solar, wind, and nearly all current energy sources to balance peak consumption electrical rates.
Though it appears that focus is not on creating a completely green storage option, it does help to solve some of the problems of intermittent power sources such as wind and solar energy. Since air can be compressed by renewable energy sources, it does save natural gas resources that would have otherwise been used to compress and heat the natural gas powering turbines. Instead we have natural gas just being used to heat already compressed air.
More work will need to be done to develop a reliable technology capable of heating the air that powers the turbines but it is not out of the question to think this technology could be combined with geothermal sources to remove the natural gas component completely. At the very least it can be more efficient to compress air with renewable sources that could otherwise only function at certain times. Lower electrical rates are never a negative effect for consumers, and the possibilities of this technology appear in line with future ideals of entire nations being powered by renewable sources. High volume storage needs to start somewhere and this may well be a key concept in a problem that plagues current wind and solar projects.
(August 26, 2008 - Newark, NJ) – PSEG Global LLC and energy storage pioneer Dr. Michael Nakhamkin today announced they have formed Energy Storage and Power LLC (ES&P); a joint venture to exclusively market, license, support the development and supervise project execution of the second generation of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology.
CAES technology stores off-peak energy, in the form of compressed air in an underground reservoir, and releases this energy during peak hours. CAES can be used for load management of intermittent renewable energy resources or as a stand-alone intermediate generation source for capturing energy arbitrage, capacity payments and ancillary services.
Dr. Nakhamkin led the design and technical implementation of North America’s only CAES plant in McIntosh, Alabama. Dr. Nakhamkin will be the Chief Technology Officer of the joint venture. Roy Daniel, who has been with PSEG since 1994 in various management positions, will be CEO. Daniel has served as asset manager for PSEG Global’s generation in the U.S. and Asia and structured over $1 billion of worldwide transactions working for PSEG Global.
Energy Storage and Power’s patented second generation CAES technology incorporates lessons learned and operational experience of the Alabama CAES project. This second generation CAES technology has numerous features and advantages that position it to become an important part of the electricity sector:
- Greater scalability and a lower capital cost per megawatt-hour of power storage relative to other power storage technologies;
- A rapid power response rate, which is critical to enhancing grid stability and compensating for the intermittency of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar;
- The ability to arbitrage the difference between off-peak and on-peak power prices, a difference that has been increasing over time; and
- The use of proven, multi-source, standard components applied in a novel configuration resulting in lower capital cost with established processes and procedures.