Toronto startup goes underwater for energy storage


Editor’s note: SGN Managing Editor Liz Enbysk recently participated in a smart grid media tour hosted by the Ontario provincial government. With journalists from around the world, she visited utilities, smart grid companies and research labs. This is one of her reports.

If land-based wind turbines are a bird’s worst nightmare, it will be interesting to see how the fish in Lake Ontario react to giant underwater “accumulators” that will store compressed air to feed back into the electric grid.

Toronto-based startup Hydrostor ran a pilot of its underwater compressed air energy storage (CAES) technology last summer and with partner Toronto Hydro will construct a 1MW, 4MWh demonstration facility about 7 kilometers from Toronto’s shore later this year.

As Hydrostor President Cam Lewis explains, his company’s first-of-its-kind system mechanically converts electricity from the grid to compressed air, which is captured, cooled and can be stored indefinitely in underwater accumulators…

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