Strathalbyn will become home to Australia’s first advanced compressed air energy storage project in a bid to help secure SA’s renewable energy future.
Hydrostor’s Angas A-CAES project will be developed at Strathalbyn’s former Angas zinc mine and Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said Hydrostor Australia’s commitment highlighted the state and federal governments commitment to renewable energy.
“This project benefits both our electricity grid and the Strathalbyn community, converting a brownfield site into an emission-free clean energy project that will stimulate local economic activity,” he said.
A-CAES technology works by using electricity from the grid to run a compressor, producing heated compressed air.
Heat is then extracted from the air stream and stored inside a proprietary thermal store preserving the energy for use later in the cycle. Compressed air is then stored in a purpose-built underground cavern, which is kept at a constant pressure using hydrostatic head from a water column.
During charging, compressed air displaces water out of the cavern up a water column to a surface reservoir.
On discharge, water flows back into the cavern forcing air to the surface under pressure where it is re-heated using the stored heat and then expanded through a turbine to generate electricity on demand.
Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor said a 250 per cent increase in variable renewable energy over the next three years required additional investment in energy storage to deliver reliable 24/7 power.
Hydrostor was awarded $6 million dollars from the commonwealth government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $3 million dollars from the state government to build the project.