January 12, 2023

Deploying innovative, non-lithium storage technology to help 3CE achieve 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030

MONTEREY, Calif., Jan. 12, 2023 – Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) has approved a 25-year contract with Hydrostor for the construction of a compressed-air energy storage facility, that once built, will provide 500 megawatts of energy storage, making it the largest Compressed Air Energy Storage Project in the world.  Two hundred megawatts of that capacity will be reserved for 3CE, helping the agency meet its goal of serving its 447,000 customers between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties with 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030.

“California’s energy needs are well known and while a framework for generation and delivery exists, real solutions require creativity and innovation,” said 3CE Chief Operating Officer, Robert Shaw. “Retiring fossil fuels requires tremendous amounts of energy storage and that will require developing new technologies and improvements to existing technologies.  The Willow Rock advanced compressed air storage project provides critical storage that will help bridge time periods when renewable generation is less plentiful.  In pushing the envelope, we are clearing the path toward reliability and reduced emissions.”

Hydrostor has developed an advanced compressed air process (A-CAES) that injects air into underground caverns, using water to maintain constant pressure. When released, the air is used to power turbines that generate electricity.

A-CAES experiences zero efficiency degradation over a 50+ year lifetime and is optimized for system sizes of 100 MWs and above with 5 hours up to multi-day storage duration. With discharge duration capabilities well beyond the four-hour standard for lithium-ion, renewable sources will be able to meet electricity demands for longer periods of time when generation tapers off.

“It’s fair to call Hydrostor’s A-CAES solution a game changer,” said Hydrostor CEO, Curtis VanWalleghem. “A-CAES is one of a small number of proven energy storage solutions that provide long-duration at the scale needed to support grids that are increasingly relying on intermittent renewable energy. Our 50+ year asset life provides critical long-term reliability and support for the grid.”

Hydrostor’s project, called the Willow Rock Energy Storage Center, will be in Kern County, California, and is scheduled to reach completion in 2028. The company already completed two facilities in North America and is in the process of developing additional projects globally.

3CE has executed 19 power purchase and energy storage agreements since its formation in 2017. The agency currently has commitments for 856 MW of clean and renewable generation and 285 MW of energy storage capacity to help meet its 5,100 MW of annual demand. Five of these projects came online last year, currently serving 22% of the agency’s load.

About Central Coast Community Energy 

Central Coast Community Energy is a public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. 3CE is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by 3CE stays local and helps keep electricity rates affordable for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. 3CE serves 447,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial, and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more at 3CEnergy.org and on social media, including FacebookInstagram, and Twitter

About Hydrostor Inc.

Hydrostor is a leading large-scale, long duration energy storage solution provider supporting the energy transition to sustainable, low-impact, cost-effective, and reliable electricity systems. Hydrostor is advancing a significant pipeline of projects internationally using its patented Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology. A-CAES (pronounced “case”) integrates compressed air, underground caverns, and water with proven components from traditional mining and gas operations to build scalable and flexibly sited energy storage systems. A-CAES experiences zero efficiency degradation over a 50+ year lifetime and is optimized for system sizes of 100 MWs and above with 5 hours up to multi-day storage duration. Hydrostor is backed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Canadian Pension Plan, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canoe Financial, Lorem Partners and ArcTern Ventures.

To learn more, visit https://www.hydrostor.ca/

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3CE Contact:

Catherine Stedman

Director of Communications and Outreach

+1 (831)-737-0411


Hydrostor Contact:

Will Bartlett

+1 (416)-728-6960