PG&E wins CAES research grant

In the last issue of Energy Storage Report, we ran a story about Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California issuing an energy storage request for information (RFI), which we interpreted as the company dipping its toe into the energy storage pool. Well, it looks like we were right.The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced that it has awarded PG&E a US$1m grant to demonstrate a compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant. San Francisco-based PG&E is planning to compress air into depleted natural gas reservoirs using excess wind energy. The air would then be released through a turbine to generate electricity for the grid, as required.The idea is that, should the results be promising, the CEC would sign up to a proportion of a further $50m needed to help see the project through to completion, with the remaining balance of the $50m provided by the US Department of Energy and other sources.