Peaking Power Plants

Peaking Power Plants

Gravity Power’s largest market by far is the peaking power market. Hundreds of MW of additional peaking power will be required globally year over year as the growth in power needs of industrialized and growing countries continue to increase. As the penetration of intermittent renewable energy generation sources increases, the need for diurnal energy storage and peaking power increase significantly.

Peaking power of this scale cannot be met by PSH or CAES, given their limitations in finding enough viable sites and challenges in financing the installations. Batteries and flywheels will not be useful for utility-scale peaking power needs. Conventional wisdom projects that gas combustion turbines will continue to be deployed to meet these needs.

Large GPMs with hundreds of MWh per shaft can provide peaking power at lower levelized costs of electricity than can combustion gas turbines. GPMs burn no fuel, are more efficient and have a minimal footprint.


Typical GPM Peaking Plant Parameters

 

  • Bulk energy storage
  • 30-100m diameter storage shaft
  • 3-6m return pipe
  • 500-1000m deep
  • Up to 1600 MW for 4 hrs per shaft
  • Up to 9,000,000 tonnes/shaft
  • ~ 3 acre surface footprint

 

Market

 

  • Buy cheap energy off peak
  • Sell valuable energy on peak
  • Differential can exceed $100/MWh
  • Capacity payments for plant availability
  • Capable of low cost ancillary services
  • ~200 GW of peaking power in U.S.
  • Foreign market is much larger

This figure represents a 40MW, 4-hour duration GPM to scale.