Westinghouse long-duration pumped thermal storage project nets federal funding

Westinghouse long-duration pumped thermal storage project nets federal funding

Westinghouse Electric Company announced it is one of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant funding recipients to deploy long-duration energy storage.

Along with Golden Valley Electric Association, Echogen Power Systems, ASRC Energy Services, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Shell Global Solutions US, Westinghouse plans to deploy a 1.2 GWh utility-scale pumped thermal energy storage (PTES) project in Healy, Alaska.

This project was created by a partnership between Westinghouse and Echogen by combining technology components from each partner to create a PTES system. In the system, a heat pump draws electricity from the power grid and converts the electricity into heat stored in inexpensive concrete blocks. This stored energy is then converted back into electricity using a heat engine. The PTES system also utilizes a low-cost ice-based low temperature reservoir.

Westinghouse said the project represents the largest planned single installation of long-duration energy storage in the U.S. It is expected to pair with wind project development in the area, demonstrating how the technology can firm intermittent renewable power at grid scale while also providing local and regional grid resiliency.

The company said its solution addresses many of the challenges associated with other energy storage applications such as lithium-ion batteries, providing 10 or more hours of storage.

The award comes from a total of $325 million announced by DOE for 15 long-duration energy storage projects across 17 states and one tribal nation. The funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Other projects from the award include two iron-air batteries to be installed at Xcel Energy’s retiring coal plants in Minnesota and Colorado.