Hydrostor expands energy storage in California

By Dominic Ellis
Hydrostor subsidiary Gem A-CAES plans 500MW energy storage facility near the City of Rosamond in California

Gem A-CAES, a subsidiary of Hydrostor, has filed its Application for Certification (AFC) with the California Energy Commission for development of a 500MW energy storage facility near the City of Rosamond, Kern County, California.

The Gem AFC filing follows its AFC filing of the Pecho Energy Storage Center, a 400MW x 8-hour A-CAES project in San Luis Obispo County.

The latest project will deploy Hydrostor’s proprietary Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (“A-CAES”) solution and provide large-scale, long-duration energy storage for the region with no fossil fuel consumption nor greenhouse gas emissions.

With commercial operations scheduled to start from 2026, Gem will allow California’s growing solar and wind resources to be directly converted into reliable, on-demand peak capacity for the High Desert, the greater Los Angeles region and the broader California grid. It would surpass all existing battery energy storage projects in California in terms of both megawatts delivered and duration of generation, with an expected capital investment of $975 million. 

Long-duration energy storage is one of the cornerstone solutions to a carbon-free renewable energy future. Gem’s ability to deliver 500MW of carbon-free electricity for 8 hours will be comparable in size and resiliency to some of California’s largest fossil-fueled powerplants.

The development of the project will provide a pathway for local skilled labour to shift to the green economy as the community continues to expand and build out new renewable energy facilities.  

It is expected to provide an estimated peak workforce of 700 jobs during its 4 years of construction. Once operational, Gem will create 30 to 40 full-time equivalent, good paying jobs. The Project is expected to generate over $500 million in direct and indirect regional economic benefits during its commercial lifespan.  

Gem will interconnect at the existing Whirlwind Substation (CAISO delivery) or the planned Rosamond Switching Station (LADWP delivery). The Project is strategically located to provide enhanced utilisation of both existing and future renewable energy resources serving California and the High Desert. 

Curtis VanWalleghem, ceo Hydrostor, said the filing marks the second of many important milestones in the implementation of Hydrostor’s commitment to helping California meet its recognized long-duration energy storage needs.

"Deployment of Hydrostor's unique combination of being a proven, cost effective and carbon-free long duration storage solution will greatly enhance California's program to fully transition to a reliable and carbon-free energy future," he said. "Our A-CAES facilities are designed to operate safely and efficiently for over 50 years with zero degradation."

Battery storage updates

EVLO, the Hydro-Québec subsidiary specialising in energy storage systems, recently unveiled EVLO 1000, a 1-MWh battery energy storage system designed for large-scale projects. Aimed mainly at electricity generators, transmission providers and distributors, the system has varied applications, including renewable-energy integration, microgrids, peak shaving, backup power and grid resilience.

Powin has announced its new Centipede battery energy storage platform, which is the company's first fully modular design, complete with pre-integrated segments containing batteries, thermal management equipment, and essential safety systems.

Malta and Bechtel Corporation are teaming up to pursue new energy storage projects around the world. The companies will work together to develop and deploy Malta's 10-150+ hour energy storage technology in a variety of grid-scale applications.

Panasonic recently announced its latest home energy product, the EverVolt 2.0, which provides continuous power output of 7.6kW off-grid and 9.6 kW with grid.

IDTechEx recently published research on the energy storage market and the wide range of battery and energy storage technologies under development (Li-ion, Solid State and Polymer Batteries, Redox Flow, and Flexible, Thin and Printed Film).

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