FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2001
Norton Energy Storage (NES) Files Application with the Ohio Power Siting Board For Construction of a Compressed Air Energy Storage Facility
Columbus, Ohio - Bringing Ohio and the City of Norton one step closer to having the largest compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility in the world, NES filed its application for certificate of environmental compatibility and public need with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). The January 16 filing followed a December 22 notification from the OPSB Chairman regarding the OPSB staff's determination that the application submitted for review on October 25 was complete, and the formal notification process should begin.
The NES facility will ultimately provide 2,700 MW of electricity. Norton Energy Storage is a wholly owned subsidiary of CAES Development Company (CDC), a Houston based energy company. NES officials report that as development plans continue to be met with success, the Norton facility will be able to provide valuable electric generation and storage services, significantly contributing to electric system reliability within the next 30 months.
Recent instability of supply versus demand experienced by the electric industry in different parts of the country is fueling NES' desire to bring much needed power to the East Central Area Reliability (ECAR) region. "We hope that the permitting process can be completed by late spring, " said John Strom, Managing Director. "That will allow us to stay on schedule and be prepared to meet the growing demand in the ECAR region by spring, 2003."
The company's application for certification highlights the added benefits of CAES technology versus more traditional power generation facilities. The plant will compress air using off-peak energy and store it in an ideally suited underground limestone mine. Extensive geological testing by the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Labs and The Hydrodynamics Group found the mine to be "an exceptional air storage vessel."
Located within Norton city limits, the plant's surface is an existing brown field site that will benefit from redevelopment, presenting a remarkable opportunity for Norton and Ohio to revitalize the area. The City of Norton and NES have worked cooperatively to create an innovative public-private arrangement where NES will convey the mine to the City, and the City will enter into a long term lease back with NES. This arrangement provides peace of mind for Norton residents that only air will be stored in the mine forever.
During periods of high demand, the compressed air will be brought to the surface and used with conventional gas-fired turbine technology to generate electricity. Since the only on-site fuel is clean burning natural gas, the environmentally friendly CAES facility will operate well-within federal and state air emissions guidelines. Plans call for nine 300 MW Alstom ET11NM turbines to be brought on line over a five year period. Once in operation, NES will interconnect with American Transmission Systems Incorporated, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy.
CDC is owned by its management team and by private equity funds managed by Haddington Ventures, L.L.C. Haddington-managed funds provide private equity capital to the energy industry, including mid-stream oil and natural gas projects and electric generation, transmission, and distribution projects. Haddington Ventures' limited partners include affiliates of Chase Capital Partners (a J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. affiliate), Vectren Ventures (an affiliate of Indiana Gas and SIGECO), Millenium Energy Holdings (a Tucson Electric affiliate), Travelers Insurance Company, and Prudential Insurance Company.