As recently reported in BusinessWeek, a coalition of
more than 100 municipal utilities in Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas
(backed by funding from the Department of Energy) is spending $200
million to build a 268-megawatt facility outside of Dallas Center,
Iowa, that will store excess wind power in sandstone underground. The
Iowa Stored Energy Park will store the excess energy created by wind
farms during periods of low demand so that it can be sold and used at a
later time when demand - and prices - are higher. And, in West Texas, TXU Corp. along with Shell WindEnergy
is installing windmills capable of producing 3,000 megawatts that will
be connected to a wind storage facility in underground salt domes.
Other CAES (compressed air energy storage) projects are being
considered in New Mexico and along the Gulf Coast. In fact, the
Electric Power Research Institute estimates that underground features
capable of supporting this technology are present in more than 85
percent of the United States.
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