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Four companies have jointly proposed an $8-billion green energy initiative that would link wind farms to an energy storage facility and bring large amounts of clean electricity to the Los Angeles area by 2023.
The project would require construction of a wind farm in Wyoming, an energy storage facility in Utah, and a 525-mile electric transmission line connecting the two sites. A key component of the project – a massive underground energy storage facility – would yield 1,200 MW.
The four companies – Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, Dresser-Rand and Duke-American Transmission – will formally submit their proposal to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015 in response to the agency's request for proposals to supply the Los Angeles area with renewable energy and electricity storage.
The underground energy storage facility would help solve one of renewable energy's biggest challenges – its intermittency. Wind farms produce no electricity when there's no wind; solar farms produce no electricity when there's no sun.
Linking the wind farm to the energy storage facility is likely to enable the wind farm to function like a traditional coal, nuclear or natural gas power plant – capable of reliably delivering large amounts of electricity whenever needed, based on customer demand.
Key components of the proposed project: