Compressed air energy storage company secures $55m in finance

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Company behind South Australian compressed-air storage project gets major secures more than $55 million in new investment, including from GE company.

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Large-scale compress air energy storage firm Hydrostor has secured US$37 million (A$54.6 million) in new investment, which will accelerate the company’s expansion into developing 100MW+ scale energy storage projects.

Hydrostor has secured investment from GE Energy offshoot Baker Hughes and global investment firm Meridiam, and will use the additional finance to progress development of the Angas energy storage project in Australia.

As reported by RenewEconomy in July, Hydrostor has received development approval for what will be Australia’s first large-scale compressed air energy storage system, to be located in South Australia.

The project will use Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology. The $30 million Angas project is being developed at the former Angas Zinc Mine site at Strathalbyn, and is aiming to provide 5MW of backup power for up to 2 hours, with 10MWh of storage capacity.

The first of its kind project in Australia will create around 40 jobs during the construction phase, and the Canadian based Hydrostor anticipates the project will serve as a stepping stone to larger projects.

“Hydrostor’s A-CAES is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for flexibly-sited, long-duration energy storage as power grids continue to decarbonize and adapt to higher penetrations of intermittent renewable energy,” Hydrostor CEO Curtis VanWalleghem said in a statement.

“This funding will enable our development team to continue advancing the late-stage projects we have underway. We are thrilled to collaborate with, and benefit from, the expertise of Meridiam in project development and financing; [Baker Hughes’] industry-leading technology, service capabilities and commitment to advancing low-carbon solutions.”

In addition to providing a means of storing energy, the A-CAES technology is also able to deliver electricity with short notice and similar to battery storage, is able to provide frequency and grid stability services to the energy market.

The Angas project in South Australia is being developed with the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which has provided a $6 million grant for the demonstration project, and likewise hopes the project will lead to larger storage projects in the future.

Hydrostor also received a $3 million grant from the South Australian government, in return for locating its Australian headquarters in the state.

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