Technology to better integrate renewable power and move unused energy back to the grid.
TORONTO — NRStor has partnered with two US companies to build large-scale fuel-free compressed air energy storage (CAES) in Ontario.
The company said deploying 1,000 megawatts of CAES could save Ontario rate-payers up to $8 billion over a 20 year period, while helping to reduce the province’s carbon emissions, based on a study it conducted with energy modeler Andy Ford.
NRStor, General Compression and SustainX will work together in taking a phased approach to project development that aligns with Ontario’s need for a flexible, reliable and efficient energy grid.
CAES absorbs surplus energy during low-demand or transmission constrained periods and returns it back to the grid when needed. It’s a cost effective, long duration energy storage technology that, when added to the system along with wind generation, provides reliable baseload power, something wind generation cannot do on its own.
One of the key benefits, the company said, will be its ability to make renewable energy more accessible. Currently, energy is produced when winds are favourable, which may not be when the power is required on the grid. To balance the grid, gas plants currently fill the gaps in wind generation.
NRStor, which is a Toronto-based energy storage project developer, said CAES technology reduces the need for gas plants, as surplus energy generated at off-peak times can be stored and released when demand is greater or during lulls in wind generation.
General Compression estimates that the installed cost of its long-duration storage project will be less than one-tenth of the estimated $350/kWh for battery storage projected for the year 2022.
The savings to Ontario rate-payers will progressively increase as NRStor and its partners continue to develop more projects, moving towards a 1,000 megawatt target.
“Ontario is leading the way in the development of economic energy storage solutions,” said Joe Cofelice, CEO of General Compression.
General Compression is a Massachusetts-based company that produced a modular, fuel-free compressed air energy storage technology designed for long-duration applications on salt caverns. SustainX’s isothermal compressed air energy storage technology enables power- and energy-scalable compressed air storage.