- Duke-American Transmission, a 50-50 joint venture between Duke Energy’s unregulated division and American Transmission Co., will join Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, and Dresser-Rand to propose a ground-breaking $8 billion wind energy and storage system for the Southern California Public Power Authority.
- The plan calls for Duke-American Transmission to build a 525 mile, $2.6 billion, high voltage transmission line to bring Wyoming wind-generated electricity to Utah, where an existing line can deliver the power to Los Angeles and, through California’s transmission system, across the state.
- Under the plan, Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy will build a $4 billion, 2,100-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming. Pathfinder, Magnum Energy, and Dresser-Rand will build a $1.5 billion, 1,200 megawatt, 41 million cubic foot compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility in four salt formations in Utah to hold the electricity until the California agency wants it.
CAES has been used for wind energy storage in Germany since 1978 and in Alabama since 1991. Projects are planned or under construction in Texas, the UK, and Iowa, but it has yet to be proven economically practical.
Dresser’s experience in building the Alabama CAES facility is expected to be of value in this undertaking. Its key role in this project may partially explain why Siemens just agreed to pay $7.6 billion in cash to purchase it.
If the transmission and storage system can be executed economically, it would make utilities’ dream of turning a variable renewable source into a dispatchable power source.
“This project would be the 21st century’s Hoover Dam — a landmark of the clean-energy revolution,” said Jeff Meyer, managing partner at Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy.