Compressed air energy storage better than batteries

Our electrical grid needs to be able to store energy for future use. With few exceptions, it can’t do that now. The primary way it is done is pumped hydro. At night when rates are low or when there is excess power, water is pumped uphill to a storage area. When energy is needed, the water is released to power turbines, creating energy.

The other way is can be done is via compressed air energy storage. Compressed air is stored in underground caverns for future use.Both methods are operational today and have huge advantages over grid-scale storage using as yet undeveloped batteries. The technologies are proven and easy to implement. Such storage works well with renewable energy like wind turbines. Suddenly a wind farm would be able to store power and this “makes the wind facility have the output profile of a coal plant, rather than a scarily variable wind site.”

Credit: Sandia

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