Texas to host 300 MW of geomechanical energy storage projects

Quidnet Energy, a provider of geomechanical energy storage (GES) technology, has joined hands with distributed energy resources developer Hunt Energy Network to deliver 300 MW of storage projects in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid operating region.
Illustration of geomechanical energy storage project
Image: Quidnet

Houston-based long-duration energy storage developer Quidnet Energy has announced a major deal that could see hundreds of megawatts of its innovative technology deployed in Texas to help address ERCOT’s urgent need for energy storage.

The company has announced a strategic partnership with a $10 million investment from Hunt Energy Network (HEN), a distributed energy resources developer with experience in subsurface development.

The two Texas-based companies will collaborate on a build-transfer program for 300 MW of projects utilizing Quidnet Energy’s GES technology, which relies on well-sealed underground reservoirs for energy storage.

The partnership will pair Quidnet’s solution with HEN’s similar subsurface technologies and its capabilities in developing energy storage projects, the companies said in a release.

“Quidnet Energy’s GES technology presents a unique opportunity to revolutionize energy storage, and we’re excited to invest in a solution that purposefully transforms existing resources to expand access to long-duration storage,” said Pat Wood, III, Chief Executive Officer for Hunt Energy Network.

With its rapidly growing fleet of renewable energy resources, ERCOT is ideal for the deployment of various types of energy storage systems. The state is expected to install 6.5 GW of utility-scale batteries in 2024, bringing the total installed capacity to around 10 GW, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The projection outpaces the 5.2 GW expected to come online in California.

Long-duration energy storage systems, such as the one developed by Quidnet, could help wind and solar act like baseload thermal generation year-round. The company’s GES technology uses drilling and hydropower machinery to store renewable energy over long durations of more than 10 hours and in large quantities.

The technology is based on closed-loop water systems, designed to prevent evaporative loss and developed at dry oil and gas wells. The underground energy-storing rock bodies are non-hydrocarbon bearing and charged by pumping water under high pressure. When electricity is needed, the well is opened to let the pressurized water pass through a turbine to generate electricity, and return to the pond ready for the next cycle.

Quidnet explains that its technology is an adaptation of centuries-old gravity-powered pumped storage, but without the massive land requirements and reliance on elevated terrain.

Quidnet was founded in 2013 and has since attracted more than $60 million in investor and government funding, including from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures. According to its website, the company has a total of five projects under development, located in Texas, Ohio, New York, and California in the US, and in Alberta, Canada.

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  • Marija has years of experience in a news agency environment and writing for print and online publications. She took over as the editor of pv magazine Australia in 2018 and helped establish its online presence over a two-year period.


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