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Storing the Wind

February 21, 2011

The Department of Energy is developing new ways to store energy.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (Host):

Energy when you need it. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

America has vast wind power resources. But according to Imre Gyuk, program manager for Energy Storage Research at the Department of Energy, wind speeds vary greatly, and tend to be highest at night, when energy demand is low. That’s why the DOE is funding pilot programs that use wind power to store compressed air underground.

IMRE GYUK (Department of Energy):

You can do it in salt domes, abandoned lime quarries, abandoned oil wells. A lot of different possibilities.

HIRSHON:

The compressed air runs turbines to create electricity when its needed most. He says that pilot projects now underway will produce up to 450 megawatts of power. Additional projects are testing the feasibility of storing the compressed air in metal pipes above ground. The compressed air power plants would generate electricity with almost no pollution. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.