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New(ish) Method for Storing Wind Energy Explored


Recently, MIT discovered a revolutionary method for solar energy storage. And now, less than a month later, a method for wind power storage is being explored.

Earlier today, Public Service Enterprise Group Global announced that it is joining with Michael Nakhamkin to create a company called Energy Storage and Power that will develop new ways to trap wind power in underground reservoirs.

Compressed air storage technology isn’t new, but it has been ignored for many years. Now it’s being rediscovered thanks to the prolific growth of wind turbines and high oil and natural gas prices.

The technology works by pulling excess energy form the power grid at off-peak times (during the night) to run compressors that pump air into natural underground caverns. When energy demand is high, the underground air is released and heated to run turbines. The heating process uses 200 MW of power from compressed air and 100 MW from natural gas.

According to Roy Daniel, a chief executive of Energy Storage and Power Chief, an underground reservoir the size of Giants Stadium could potentially hold enough power for three 300 MW plants.

While compressed air technology does use some natural gas, it still uses far less fuel than traditional turbine systems. And it makes wind turbines a much more reliable source of energy in an industry that has been hindered by a lack of reliability.

More Posts on Wind Power:

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was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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