Wind Energy CAES

Dakota Salts Current CAES Activity

North Dakota is the base of one of the largest wind farm, electricity generation projects in North America with capital investment expected to exceed $4 billion. However, wind power does not provide a consistent output since power is only generated when wind is blowing. This can lead to complex power management issues. These can be potentially resolved by storing compressed air in underground storage caverns and then releasing it when required to power turbines to generate electricity when it is needed.

With support from the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Dakota Salts and Sirius Minerals are currently working with the Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI), Schlumberger, and Tetra Tech to research the potential for creating underground storage caverns in North Dakotas salt beds which can then be used for storing the compressed air generated through wind power turbines in the region.

Dakota Salts, in conjunction with its technical partners Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI), Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB), and Tetra Tech, are currently researching the potential to use salt caverns created through solution mining as storage facilities for compressed air generated from wind power turbines in North Dakota.

The objective of these studies is firstly to perform an advanced subsurface geo-mechanical feasibility study to characterize North Dakotas potash/salt beds for their utilization for Bulk Energy Storage (BES); and secondly to perform a cost-to-benefit analysis for installation of a CAES storage facility for a wind integration service in North Dakota. This will include plant performance and operating cost specifications, expectations for plant capital costs and optimal dispatch modeling of the power facility.