Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Magnum Development have announced plans for the ’world’s largest renewable energy storage project’, to be located in Utah, US.

The Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) initiative will develop 1,000 megawatts of completely clean energy storage for technologies and strategies in the quest to decarbonise the power grid of the Western US.

The consortium plans to hold hydrogen or compressed air in a huge salt cavern in central Utah, which reportedly is roughly one mile deep and three miles across.

Japan-based MHPS has developed gas turbine technology that enables a mixture of renewable hydrogen and natural gas to produce power with lower carbon emissions.

The MHPS technology roadmap aims to use 100% renewable hydrogen as a fuel source, which will allow gas turbines to produce electricity with zero carbon emissions.

Initially the ACES project will develop enough energy storage to serve 150,000 households for an entire year by deploying four types of clean energy storage technologies: renewable hydrogen, compressed air energy storage, large scale flow batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells.

Paul Browning, President and CEO of MHPS Americas, said “In California and other states in the western United States, which will soon have retired all of their coal-fired power generation, we need the next step in decarbonisation. Mixing natural gas and storage, and eventually using 100% renewable storage, is that next step. The technologies we are deploying will store electricity on time scales from seconds to seasons of the year. For example, when we add gas turbines powered with renewable hydrogen to a hydrogen storage salt-dome, we have a solution that stores and generates electricity with zero carbon emissions.”

With five salt caverns already in operation for liquid fuels storage, Utah-based Magnum is continuing to develop Compressed Air Energy Storage and renewable hydrogen storage options.

Craig Broussard, CEO of Magnum, said, “Magnum and MHPS are great partners. Magnum has the below-ground technologies necessary to store energy at utility scale, while MHPS has the above-ground technologies such as hydrogen-fired gas turbines, compressed air storage, solid oxide fuel cells and battery storage technology, to supply electricity at grid scale. With the ACES initiative, we will dramatically accelerate the vision of a western renewable energy hub that we launched over a decade ago.”