Coal, Gas

Who says you cant store electricity

Issue 5 and Volume 101.

Who says you can`t store electricity

Your article on energy storage in the Power Engineering March 1997 issue, page 21, is a timely insight into yet another possible deregulation impact on utilities. With its experience, capacity and cost, compressed air energy storage (CAES) is a viable energy storage strategy. As Alabama Electric Cooperative`s engineer on its CAES plant, we are aware of the challenges–both physical and economic–that were overcome by the owner and others involved.

While Figure 2 shows CAES is competitive with combustion turbines, the cost/kWh scale is such that the reader will not realize that CAES typically becomes more economical than a simple-cycle combustion turbine of equal output at about a 20 percent capacity factor, just as combined-cycle operating costs overtake simple cycle at about 30 percent capacity factor. We look forward to the next generation of CAES and helping utility clients with their business strategies under deregulation.

Kenneth Korinek

Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co.