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Hydrostor Announces Australia’s First Compressed Air Energy Storage Project, Secures Funding from ARENA and South Australia Renewable Technology Fund

February 20, 2019 1:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

ADELAIDE, February 8, 2019 – Hydrostor Inc., a leader in Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES), is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd, has been awarded a combined total of $9 million of grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Government of South Australia Renewable Technology Fund for Australia’s first A-CAES project, to be sited at a mine outside of Adelaide—the Angas Zinc Mine near Strathalbyn, currently in care and maintenance.

The innovative 5 MW Angas A-CAES Project will be dispatched into the National Electricity Market (NEM) to provide synchronous inertia, load shifting, frequency regulation, and support grid security and reliability. The facility will also enable the integration of variable renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind, the lowest-cost energy source available to Australians.

By selecting the Terramin Angas Zinc Mine, the project will repurpose existing underground mining infrastructure as the A-CAES system’s sub-surface air storage cavern, benefiting both the electricity grid in South Australia and the local community by converting an unused brownfield site into a clean energy project that drives economic development. Hydrostor acknowledges Terramin Australia Limited’s support in developing the project and the technology’s beneficial application to South Australia.

The technology works by using electricity from the grid to run a compressor, producing heated compressed air. Heat is extracted from the air stream and stored inside a proprietary thermal store preserving the energy for use later in the cycle. Compressed air is then stored in a purpose-built underground cavern, which is kept at a constant pressure using hydrostatic head from a water column. During charging, compressed air displaces water out of the cavern up a water column to a surface reservoir, and during discharge water flows back into the cavern forcing air to the surface under pressure where it is re-heated using the stored heat and then expanded through a turbine to generate electricity on demand. An animation describing A-CAES is available at www.hydrostor.ca.

The project has been awarded a grant of $6 million from ARENA as part of its Advancing Renewables Program. ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the pilot project could open up a new form of renewable energy storage in Australia, which helps to support ARENA’s investment in delivering security and reliable electricity.
“Compressed air storage has the potential to provide similar benefits to pumped hydro energy storage, however it has the added benefits of being flexible with location and topography, such as utilising a cavern already created at a disused mine site,” Mr Miller said.

The ARENA grant complements the Government of South Australia’s award of a $3 million grant in support of the project through its Renewable Technology Fund (RTF). “Hydrostor’s interest in establishing this Australian-first project at the Angas mine site highlights the State and Federal Governments’ commitment to make our renewable energy deliver more for consumers,’ said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

The successful deployment of A-CAES at the Angas Zinc Mine will open up opportunities throughout Australia for the build-out of full-scale (50+ MW), long duration (4-24+ hours), long life (50+ years) projects, adding clean energy capacity and boosting reliability of power supplies across the NEM. Hydrostor’s emission-free solution can be flexibly located where required on the grid, is deployable at both greenfield and brownfield sites, and offers a compelling, low-cost alternative to geographically-constrained bulk energy storage technologies such as pumped hydro. The company is currently advancing several full-scale projects in Australia and working to identify additional sites for A-CAES deployment across the country.

Hydrostor CEO Curtis VanWalleghem said: “Hydrostor is very appreciative of the contributions from ARENA and the Government of South Australia for its first Australian A-CAES project.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate the significant benefits of adding our flexibly-sited, low-cost, bulk energy storage to the diverse range of technology helping Australia transition to a lower-cost, high system strength, cleaner electricity grid.”

About Hydrostor

Hydrostor, a private company founded in 2010 and based in Toronto, Canada and Adelaide, Australia (Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd), is a leader in Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES), a technology uniquely suited to enable the transition to a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid. A-CAES provides grid services that are not readily replicated by other storage technologies, giving it unique market potential. It flexibly addresses bulk electricity system needs for dispatchable capacity such as peaker plant applications, true synchronous rotational inertia for grid security and ancillary services, renewable integration and optimisation, transmission deferral, as well as behind-the-meter or remote applications for mines and large industrial operations. Hydrostor’s low-cost, emission free solution delivers long duration bulk energy storage that can be flexibly-located where required on the grid. The technology can also replace retired fossil fuel plants and leverage existing mining infrastructure, modernizing these assets as part of the green energy economy. Hydrostor has multiple projects in operation or under construction in Australia and Canada and is actively pursuing additional projects throughout Australia. Learn more at hydrostor.ca.

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Michelle Prak
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michelle@prakky.com.au