The current population of the state of the “Beehive State,” Utah is approximately 3.22 million people. In February 2019, state utilities used coal (67.3%), natural gas (22.9%) and renewable energy (9.7%) to generate electricity. Solar and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Utah.
Utah is one of twenty states that doesn’t have an enforceable statewide renewable portfolio standard. In February 2017, state legislators did mandate that all new residential and commercial buildings meet energy efficiency standards for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, water heating, and lighting found in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.
Escalating coal prices are causing state legislators to consider accelerating the move to renewable energy. Intermittent renewable energy sources, like solar and wind require battery storage systems to be able to provide power twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Utah Governor, Gary Herbert recently launched the Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES), an initiative to develop the largest energy storage system in the world.
ACES will combine compressed air storage in salt caverns with hydrogen storage, large flow batteries and solid-oxide fuel cells to provide 1,000 MW of energy storage capacity. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems will supply the power equipment and Magnum Development LLC brings manage the equipment installation in the salt cavern.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems manufactures thermal power generation systems and is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. Magnum Development develops salt cavern natural gas storage facilities and is headquartered in Holladay, Utah.
“This is the first large-scale, long-duration storage initiative announced in the U.S. in recent years,” said Ravi Manghani, head of energy storage research at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “Long-duration storage will be critical for a decarbonized future.”
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