ARES has developed and filed both domestic and international patent protection on a method of utility-scale energy storage that is more effectively deployable than competing grid-scale energy storage technologies to date. ARES is a gravity based potential energy storage technology which leverages the high efficiencies of rail transport to provide a significant improvement in performance characteristics, efficiency and cost relative to other large-scale energy storage technologies.
ARES facilities may be configured to three primary storage functions:
- Smaller ARES facility in the power range of 20-50MW can provide Ancillary Services only. This type of facility is called an Ancillary Service Facility.
- Intermediate Scale ARES facilities ranging from 50-200MW can provide Ancillary Services and short duration (4-8 hours capacity) storage necessary for Renewables Integration.
- Grid Scale ARES Energy Storage Facilities range in power from 200MW Transmission Storage Systems up to 3GW Regional Energy Storage Hubs. Energy capacity may range from 4 to 16 hours duration at full power output.
ARES technology has been thoroughly reviewed by experts in the field of heavy haul rail engineering, locomotive design, electrical engineering, power transmission and distribution, environmental and regulatory affairs, as well as experts in the field of energy storage economics.
ARES locations are highly coincident with regions of wind and solar energy deployment, which require significant reserves of energy storage to firm their generation capacity.
ARES facilities do not require the use of water, which is a significant mitigating factor in the deployment of new Pumped-Storage Hydro facilities – the most broadly deployed energy storage technology worldwide and in the United States. There are many locations across the US and around the world where ARES technology can be deployed with minimal environmental implications.
Uniquely, ARES facilities may provide fast response high efficiency (80%) Regulation Energy Management without the need to be actively charging or discharging their primary mass storage fields. Regulation Energy Management (REM) is an Ancillary Service function for energy storage which factors out the short-term imbalances between generation and load on the electric grid over a “minute-by-minute” time frame.
ARES rail based energy storage systems are covered by one or more of the following US patents: 8593012, 8674541, 8952563 and 9096144 with foreign patents pending and issued.
One of the best things about ARES technology is its low technical risk. Rail transport is an age old technology that has evolved into one of the most efficient modes of transportation ever devised. Its cost and performance are well known and commercially viable as an energy storage system when integrated with state-of-the-art automation, control and power systems.Matt Brown, ARES