Wyo. company to test new storage technology in wind project

Source: E&E • Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013

An energy company is hoping to test out a way to store energy generated by wind turbines.

Wyoming-based Winhyne Energy Group hopes to install a hydraulic pump system to the towers of its planned nine-turbine wind project. The pumps would store pressure as the turbines rotate, which would be used to turn a hydraulic motor and spin a generator. If the energy isn’t immediately needed, it would be stored by compressing nitrogen into a pipeline system.

Winhyne and Canadian firm Lancaster Wind Systems developed the technology.

“It’s eight years in the making,” said Dean Byrne, Winhyne’s president and vice chairman. “We are now looking to take it to a commercial level.”

Wind is an intermittent power source — it doesn’t blow all the time. Thus, renewable energy companies are always looking for ways to store power when wind installations generate more than what consumers demand. That power would be used during higher-demand periods or when the wind is not blowing.

Winhyne presented its plans to the Platte County, Wyo., Board of Commissioners, though the board is not required to approve the project.

The $25 million demonstration project would be capable of generating about 10 megawatts of electricity, according to company estimates. Testing would begin by late 2014 (Adam Voge, Casper [Wyo.] Star-Tribune, March 7)