China launches first salt cave for storing compressed air energy

China State Energy Group Huaneng, Tsinghua University and China National Salt Industry Group have commissioned China’s first compressed air energy storage salt cave.

The Jiangsu Jintan salt cave compressed air energy storage project is located in Changzhou, Jiangsu province. It has a storage capacity of 300 MW and a power generation capacity of 60 MW.

The facility has a Salt Cave located at a depth of 1000 meters underground and owned by the China National Salt Industry Group. The system has an efficiency of more than 60% and is expected to reach a generating capacity of 1 GW. Huaneng Group built the plant and now operates it.

“Its commissioning marks a qualitative leap in Chinese compressed air energy storage technology from a theoretical experiment to an engineering application and provides a new energy storage scheme for building a new power grid with new energy as the main element,” Huanen said.

The Chinese energy storage alliance (CNESA) has noted a number of advantages of compressed air energy storage technology without afterburning. These include high capacity, long service life, low cost, and fast response time.

“The completed project will help solve the problem of limiting the use of wind and solar energy, mitigate the current problem of energy shortage in Jiangsu province, and facilitate the commercial development of advanced technologies and equipment in the domestic energy storage industry,” CNESA said in a statement.

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