Generation, Renewable Energy

Dresser-Rand, Gaelectric pair on compressed air energy storage in Europe

Dresser-Rand Group Inc. entered into an alliance with renewable energy group, Gaelectric, to develop compressed air energy storage projects in Europe. Under the Strategic Alliance agreement, Gaelectric and Dresser-Rand will collaborate on the design, development, engineering, procurement and commissioning of compressed air energy storage projects throughout Europe.

Initially Gaelectric and Dresser-Rand will work together on a compressed air energy storage project that is being developed by Gaelectric near Larne, Northern Ireland. When completed the Larne compressed air energy storage project will comprise a 268 MW twin power train storage and electricity generation facility.

The project envisages a total investment of up to $477 million with a target commissioning date of 2017. Dresser-Rand’s initial scope of supply will include project management, scheduling and technical support services thru the planning phase of the Larne project including front end engineering and design in 2014.

Full project release is expected at the end of 2014. The project will have local economic impacts, including job creation peaking at about 300 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase and on-going employment of up to 50 in operations. It is expected 25 percent of total project costs will be spent in Northern Ireland.

Compressed air energy storage refers to the storage of energy in the form of compressed air in caverns created within geological salt layers located typically at depths of between 450 meters and 850 meters beneath the Earth’s surface.

Energy is stored by compressing air during periods of low energy demand utilizing compressor technology located at ground level. This stored energy is then available for use in subsequent periods of higher energy demand when it can be released and applied in generating power using lower amounts of natural gas to generate peak time electricity.