Analysis Proves Viability of ‘Green’ Compressed Air Energy Storage
Sproule constructed a 3D geologic model and 3D numerical simulation model to study the performance of a compressed air energy storage (CAES) project located in California. The project was completed on behalf of Worley Parsons and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), along with funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE).
- The analysis involved a 9-step reservoir screening process for potential sites in California
- Sproule created a full field model to simulate air injection and withdrawal in a depleted natural gas reservoir
- The team designed, permitted and predicted performance of the CAES field-testing program, and analyzed the field test results and environmental impacts
- PG&E wanted to understand the viability of storing compressed air underground. This process would use low-cost, off-peak electricity to compress air into a storage system in an underground space such as a permeable rock formation or salt cavern. When electricity is needed, the compressed air is withdrawn and used to drive a generator for electricity production.
- The clients wanted to accurately predict withdrawal air/gas mixtures to avoid explosive compositions.
- Sproule screened 12 potential sites to find the top two candidates
- The Sproule evaluation used compositional reservoir simulation to model the mixture of injected air with in-situ methane remaining in a depleted gas field
- The team built and calibrated two independent 3D simulation models for the top depleted reservoir candidates
- They then prepared and ran the reservoir simulations for a 300-MW-by-10-hour CAES facility
- The evaluation determined that this option provides an alternative ‘green’ energy solution for storing solar and wind power for Californians