Utah Takes Next Step as Energy Storage Innovator in the West

In a bid to expand the state’s clean energy capacity even further, CRES Clean Energy Champion Gov. Gary Herbert announced what he called “the world’s largest clean energy storage project.” The announcement came during the Governor’s Energy Summit; where CRES Forum attended and hosted a dinner kicking off the event.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert with representatives from Mitsubishi Hitachi and Magnum Development during the Governor’s Energy Summit.

Featuring a storage capacity of 1GW, The Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project will use cutting-edge storage technology to bolster Utah’s already-impressive renewable capacity to new heights.

Utah will partner with two private companies to bring the keystone project to life.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) developed the gas turbine technology that will be used in the ACES project. Relying on a combination of renewable hydrogen and cleaner-burning natural gas to produce power allows MHPS’s gas turbines to generate hydrogen-sourced electricity with zero carbon emissions.

Magnum Development will provide the salt caverns necessary for liquid fuels storage. As the owner of the only known “Gulf Coast” style domal-quality salt formation in the Western region, Magnum has five salt caverns that are already up and running for liquid fuels storage purposes.

“The unmatched investment and innovation brought forward by MHPS and Magnum Development to rural Utah again demonstrates the power of the forward-looking energy policy I have advanced throughout my administration,” said Gov. Herbert.  “I’m proud that Millard County’s skilled workforce, strategic energy infrastructure and unique geological salt domes have put Utah on the map as the epicenter of utility-scale storage for the Western United States.”

There are four different energy storage technologies that will make the ACES project possible. By drawing on the combined might of renewable hydrogen, compressed air energy storage, large-scale flow batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells, the ACES project storage capacity will be able to support 150,000 households for an entire year.

This news comes as Gov. Herbert has been working to make his state’s economy more environmentally-friendly. The measures have proved to be popular among Utahans while Gov. Herbert leads the state in a bold, new direction that will see a cleaner future for state residents.

The fundamental changes occurring in Utah’s energy sector cannot be overstated. Over the last few years, the Beehive State has made unprecedented progress in renewables and clean energy. Around 14 percent of the state’s net electricity generation came from renewables in 2017, with solar coming in first as the most prominent source of renewable energy in Utah.

That 14 percent renewable electricity generation is 25 times greater than the in-state solar capacity in 2015. In the span of two short years—under Gov. Herbert’s leadership—Utah rose to a prominence as a clean energy leader in the Southwest, and they are looking to expand their commitment with this new record-breaking renewable energy project.

This is only the latest action the Governor has taken to protect Utah’s natural resources; in April, he signed 15 clean air bills into law.



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