Hydrostor and NRStor Announce Completion of World's First Commercial Advanced-CAES Facility

25 Nov 2019

Hydrostor, the world's leading developer of Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) projects, in partnership with NRStor Incorporated, a diversified Canadian energy storage project developer, announce the completion of the Goderich A-CAES Facility, located in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. The plant represents a pivotal advancement in long-duration energy storage and a world first in the successful commercialization of fuel-free (adiabatic) CAES technology.

The completion milestone was marked with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility, attended by a host of local and provincial elected officials, dignitaries, and industry executives. Among those speaking at the event were the Hon. Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy, and the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

The Goderich A-CAES Facility is commercially contracted to Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for peaking capacity, ancillary services and full participation in the merchant energy market to support grid reliability. Entirely fuel-free, the plant produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, and helps enable a cleaner, more affordable, and more flexible electricity grid.

"New technologies are changing the way we keep the lights on for Ontarians," said Peter Gregg, President and CEO, IESO. "NRStor and Hydrostor's Compressed Air Energy Storage project is a great example of the innovation we're seeing in this province, and will help us further understand how these unique resources can best integrate with Ontario's market and system operations, and drive down costs for consumers."

With 1.75 megawatts (MW) of peak power output; a 2.2 MW charge rating; and 10+ megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage capacity, this achievement is a first-of-its-kind utility-scale commercial application of A-CAES technology, conforming to all interconnection, uptime, performance and dispatch standards as set out by the IESO. The facility proves out the ability of Hydrostor's A-CAES technology to fully participate in and deliver a range of valuable grid services to electricity markets.

"We're proud to complete this important commercialization milestone for Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage, and deliver the significant benefits of our technology in our own backyard, here in Ontario," said Hydrostor CEO, Curtis VanWalleghem. "This facility serves as an important proof point for A-CAES on the global stage, enabling the build-out of Hydrostor's full-scale project pipeline in Canada, the USA, Chile, Australia and other markets." 

"We are excited about our compressed air energy storage project in Goderich, as it is the first fuel-free commercial facility of its kind in the world," said Chair and CEO of NRStor, Annette Verschuren. "I'm extremely proud of our team and our partner, Hydrostor, for developing this innovative and challenging project and bringing it to market."

Hydrostor's A-CAES technology works by using electricity from the grid to run an air compressor, producing heated compressed air. The heat is extracted from the air stream and stored for later use on discharge. The cooled compressed air is then sent underground and stored in a cavern, which can be either pre-existing or purpose-built to suit system requirements. When the grid requires dispatchable energy capacity, the air is brought back to the surface, re-collects the stored heat, and is expanded through an air turbine to generate power on demand.

The project was supported by Export Development Canada (EDC) and received funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), which works with Canadian companies to bring clean technologies to market. In addition, project funding was provided by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

"Supporting new and innovative forms of energy production is vital to ensure that we continue to meet Ontario's electricity needs with a diverse supply of power," said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy. "Our government congratulates Hydrostor on this first-in-the-world technology that will provide greater grid reliability to consumers. With these advancements we can build Ontario's future together as a market leader in energy innovation."

"The partnership between NRStor and Hydrostor has brought to life the world's first commercialized facility for fuel-free compressed air energy storage – a major breakthrough," said Leah Lawrence, President & CEO, SDTC. "Canadian entrepreneurs are the driving force behind what we do at SDTC because we know they are leading the way to building a more sustainable future. The completion of the Goderich Facility showed us again how this is possible, and we look forward to watching Hydrostor and NRStor take the world by storm!"

"EDC is proud to have been able to support the Goderich project and commercialization of an innovative Canadian energy storage solution," said Sophie Dumoulin, Director Cleantech, EDC. "Being able to provide working capital solutions to companies like Hydrostor is at the heart of our mandate, helping Canadian companies go global. We look forward to their future success and continuing our support as they deploy their technology across international markets."

Earlier this month, the Goderich A-CAES Facility also received an Energy Storage North America Innovation Award, recognizing its excellence and leadership in energy storage and positive impact on the industry.

The Goderich milestone comes on the heels of Hydrostor closing US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing, highlighting an accelerating shift toward higher-value long-duration energy storage technologies and market opportunities. The company is currently advancing a pipeline of large-scale A-CAES projects, that already represents over 2 GW and 16 GWh of deployment potential in the USA, Canada, Chile and Australia.

The success of this project marks the addition of fuel-free CAES technology to NRStor's growing portfolio of energy storage projects. In addition to fuel-free A-CAES, NRStor's projects also utilize flywheel energy storage and lithium-ion battery technologies.

Hydrostor | http://www.hydrostor.ca

NRStor | http://www.nrstor.com