In many parts of the western United States, there are times of the day when demand for electricity is lower than the production of renewable energy, which leads to curtailment of renewable generation and negative electricity pricing. Continued deployment of renewables requires excess power to be able to be stored for later use. In addition, to serve the needs of the entire western United States, many gigawatt-hours of storage capacity are required.
One of the most significant steps in this direction has just been taken. On May 30, it was announced that Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Magnum Development would begin work on the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in central Utah. The clean energy storage project will be the largest of its kind in the world, with 1 gigawatt of 100-percent clean energy storage.
The storage project will be located adjacent to the Intermountain Power Project, allowing the stored energy to easily integrate into the western U.S. power grid utilizing existing infrastructure.
“Central Utah is the ideal location for this project, and Utah is a business-friendly state for projects like this," said Craig Broussard, CEO of Magnum. "Magnum’s site adjacent to the Intermountain Power Project is positioned to take full advantage of existing regional electricity grid connections, fully developed transportation infrastructure, ample solar and wind development capacity, a skilled workforce currently transitioning away from coal, and, of course, the unique salt dome opportunity."
The storage system will be powerful enough to serve the needs of 150,000 households for an entire year and will involve four types of utility-scale clean energy storage: large-scale flow batteries, compressed air energy storage, solid oxide fuel cells, and renewable hydrogen.
"Governor Herbert's strategic energy plan continues to accelerate unprecedented investment, innovation and workforce opportunities for Utah's diverse energy landscape and provide the energy future that delivers global solutions to meet ever-evolving market demands," said Laura Nelson, the governor's energy advisor and executive director of the Governor's Office of Energy Development.