Pecho Energy Storage Center
Safe, Reliable and Emissions-Free Long Duration Energy Storage
As California moves towards its objective of achieving 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, it will require new large-scale, long-duration energy storage capacity in order to more fully integrate the increasing levels of renewable generation capacity. The Pecho Energy Storage Center provides a cost-effective, emissions-free energy storage solution to integrate large amounts of existing and future renewable generation resources. The project will play a critical role in helping meet California’s future electrical supply and reliability needs, particularly as fossil-fueled plants continue to retire due to age and regulatory requirements. In addition, there are critical near-term drivers for long-duration storage, including the planned retirement of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and other natural gas generation that is set to retire in California. Pecho and its Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (or A-CAES) can provide California with a cost-effective, long duration and emissions-free energy storage resource to help meet the evolving demand and reliability needs in the state for decades into the future.
About the project
Support 100% Net-Zero Carbon By 2045 (SB100)
Stimulate Economic Growth and New Jobs
Improve Grid Reliability and Help Prevent Future Blackouts
Deploy Proven Technologies and Existing Workforce Skillsets
The Pecho Energy Storage Center is a utility scale A-CAES facility that is under active development near the City of Morro Bay, California, USA. The proposed facility will provide up to 400 megawatts (MW) of new electrical capacity, allowing California’s attractive and growing solar and wind resources to be directly converted into reliable, around the clock on-demand peaking capacity for the Central Coast region and the broader California grid. This project will store excess generation from California solar and wind projects during periods of low customer demand by compressing air and storing it below the project site. During periods of higher customer demand or low supply, this high-pressure air is used to generate emissions-free electricity to meet real-time electrical load and enhance overall grid reliability. The project is designed to generate electricity for at least eight hours at full capacity.
- Size: 400 MW / up to 3,200 megawatt hours (MWh) (8 hours duration)
- Owner: Hydrostor
- Location: San Luis Obispo County, California, USA
- Application: Long Duration Energy Storage, Renewables Integration, Non-Network Transmission Reliability Solution, Emissions-free On-demand Generation
- Economic: 25-40 full-time equivalent jobs during operation, an estimated peak workforce of 700 jobs during construction, and over $500 million of regional direct and indirect economic impacts.
- Project Design Life: 50+ years
- In-Service: 2028
Driving economic growth: Provides diversified family wage job opportunities and generates significant regional economic development from both the construction and operation of the project. A-CAES delivers much greater direct and indirect economic benefits compared to lithium-ion battery projects. With a 50+ year lifetime, the operating facility will provide a stable revenue source for local communities, generating significant new property tax revenues to San Luis Obispo County and the local community. Additionally, A-CAES uses standard industry components and will enable workers from the fossil-fuel industry to deploy existing skillsets while contributing to California’s clean energy future.
Achieving environmental objectives: Providing an emission-free alternative to meeting peak power demands without the use of fossil fuels. Supports California’s objective of reducing GHG emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Key for enabling SB100 objectives for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
Minimal land and water requirements: A-CAES offers the equivalent bulk energy storage capabilities as pumped hydro with substantially lower land and water requirements. A-CAES is a sustainable energy storage technology that is non-combustible, has minimal residual hazardous waste at asset retirement and will experience virtually no performance degradation over its commercial lifetime.
Facilitating delivery of renewables: Deliver dispatchable capacity, using renewable energy generation into the Central Coast Region and broader California grid.
Enabling firm capacity: Deliver flexible, emissions-free and on-demand new electric generation capacity using renewable energy to supply power to the Central Coast region and broader California grid. New long duration energy storage resources will greatly reduce the risk of future blackouts in California.
Delivering transmission system value: Maximize transmission system utilization by relieving transmission constraints on energy delivery, shaping wind and solar output to reduce the need for reserving transmission capacity, as well as improving local reliability for Central Coast distribution system.
Supporting technological diversification: Offers technology diversity to the California grid to help enable future-proof grid resilience. Provides different and important generation characteristics relative to the other grid assets and storage technologies (such as Lithium-ion batteries) thereby supporting a more robust and reliable portfolio of clean energy storage resources.