Submitted by Duke Energy
May 26, 2021 /CSRwire/ - Malta Inc. is teaming up with Duke Energy to study the socioeconomic, environmental and operational benefits of converting retiring coal units into long-duration, zero-emissions energy storage systems by integrating Malta’s 100-megawatt, 10-hour pumped heat energy storage system into existing infrastructure at a Duke Energy coal plant in North Carolina.
A U.S. Department of Energy grant is funding the year-long study of the emerging technology.
Malta is developing a pumped heat energy storage system that leverages well-understood subsystems, components and thermodynamics in a novel energy storage application. By leveraging existing subsystems from well-established industries, the system relies on decades of performance data to ensure safe, resilient operations.
The system stores electricity either directly from a power plant or from the grid by converting electricity into thermal energy (heat and cold). Heat is stored in molten salt, a decades-old and proven method of storing thermal energy. Cold is stored in an antifreeze-like solution with components and subsystems widely used in the liquefied natural gas industry.
The system operates like a conventional power plant. When electricity is needed, the thermal energy powers a heat engine to produce clean, reliable energy.
“Malta is excited to work with Duke Energy to identify cost-effective, common-sense paths forward for fossil assets that consider all stakeholders,” said Ramya Swaminathan, Malta’s CEO. “For utilities like Duke Energy to meet their net-zero carbon emissions goals, major advancements in technology are needed. The Malta system could be part of the solution by providing zero-emissions, load-following technology that provides reliable, resilient and around-the-clock power.”
Though the study will focus on the energy industry’s current need for 10-12 hours of energy storage, the Malta system can be configured to store up to 200 hours of energy storage.
“Duke Energy is investing in innovation as part of our clean energy transformation plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Regis Repko, senior vice president of Duke Energy’s Generation and Transmission Strategy organization. “For years, Duke Energy has actively evaluated emerging technologies, and the Malta study marks the first time we will evaluate long-duration thermal energy storage. We expect the results to influence the future of energy and apply to our larger generation fleet.”
The study’s deliverables include an engineering conceptual study, a technology maturation plan and a socioeconomic report on potential benefits, including:
The Department of Energy announced the grant in March, and the team is identifying which of Duke Energy’s six coal plants in North Carolina is best suited to serve as the test site.
Malta is a developer of grid-scale long-duration thermal energy storage solutions. Incubated at X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google [X]), Malta is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.maltainc.com.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to operate or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
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Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.
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