Columbia Energy Storage Project Receives DOE Funding

Alliant Energy has been selected for a grant of up to approximately US$30 million from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations for a proposed 200-megawatt hour energy storage system.

Alliant Energy’s new battery system, known as the Columbia Energy Storage Project, will be the first-of-its-kind in the United States. The project will deliver 10 hours of energy storage capacity by compressing carbon dioxide (CO2) gas into a liquid. The company’s proprietary technology is based on a closed thermodynamic transformation. When that energy is needed, the system converts the liquid CO2 back to a gas which powers a turbine to create electricity. According to Alliant Energy, the zero-emissions, closed loop battery system can power approximately 20,000 homes.

The company has developed standardized equipment “bricks” that can be combined to build a CO2 battery for different customer needs and applications. Charging power (compression), discharging power (expansion), and storage capacity can be configured independently within a range of standardized solutions in order to optimize the business plan of any specific project, the company said.

The Columbia Energy Storage Project will be built in Pacific, Wisconsin, near the current Columbia Energy Center. Alliant Energy expects to submit project plans to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in the first half of 2024. Pending approval, project construction could begin in 2025 with completion in 2026.

Development of the Columbia Energy Storage Project is being led by Alliant Energy in partnership with WEC Energy Group, Madison Gas and Electric, Shell Global Solutions US, Electric Power Research Institute, UW-Madison and Madison College.