Texans have long stored oil, natural gas and other forms of energy in underground salt caverns, so it’s only natural that a Houston startup wants to store wind energy there, too.
The method is in the company’s name, Apex-CAES, where CAES stands for compressed air energy storage. The company plans to use electricity at night, when it’s cheap, to compress air into an underground cavern. The company then releases the air through turbines to generate electricity when the price is right.
The only thing holding back this 30-year-old technology has been the economics. The difference between the high and low prices in a 24-hour period has not been large enough to generate a reasonable return on the capital investment.