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United States

Consortium plans 1.2GW wind storage for LA

UNITED STATES: Four US companies have revealed plans to develop a 2.1GW wind project with a complimentary compressed-air storage facility to harness excess energy and release it to power Los Angeles.

The energy generated would power Los Angeles
The energy generated would power Los Angeles

The project involves the construction of a wind farm in Wyoming, a 525-mile transmission line and a salt-cavern compressed-air storage system, with an operational target date of 2023.

The four caverns, each almost 400-metres high, would be able to hold enough air to generate 6TWh of electricity at a power of 1.2GW.

The system would work by using excess power from the wind project to inject high-pressure air into the caverns. This could then be released at times of peak demand to turn turbines at the surface.

It has been proposed by Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, Dresser-Rand and Duke-American Transmission, which estimate the project will cost $8 billion.

The companies said they will formally submit their proposal to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015 in response to the agency's request for proposals to supply the Los Angeles area with renewable energy and electricity storage.

Magnum, Pathfinder and Dresser-Rand would install the $1.5-billion energy storage system at a site near Delta, Utah, 165 kilometres south-west of Salt Lake City. It would involve the hollowing out of the caverns using water to dissolve the salt deposits and the installation of compression machinery and turbines.

Pathfinder would build, own and operate the $4 billion wind farm near Chugwater, Wyoming. This development is separate from the proposed 3GW Chokeberry and Sierra Madre project, also in Wyoming.

Duke-American Transmission would have responsibility for building the $2.6 billion, 845-kilometre, high-voltage transmission line that would transport the power from the Wyoming wind farm to the Utah energy storage facility.

A separate, existing 790-kilometre transmission line would transport electricity from the Utah energy storage facility to the Los Angeles area.

Duke American Transmission is a joint venture between Duke Energy and American Transmission.

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