Italian company Energy Dome has announced the successful launch of its first CO2 Battery facility in Sardinia, Italy. The milestone marks the final de-risking of the CO2 Battery technology as Energy Dome enters the commercial scaling phase, becoming the first commercial long-duration energy storage technology on the market offering a reliable alternative to fossil fuels for dispatchable baseload power globally.
The Energy Dome CO2 battery uses carbon dioxide to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, over a long period and release it quickly. Energy Dome says the technology can be quickly deployed anywhere in the world at less than half the cost of similar-sized lithium battery storage facilities.
Energy Dome began its operations in February 2020 and has progressed from a concept to full testing at a multi-megawatt scale in just over two years. This successful launch is also in part due to the unique nature of Energy Dome’s process, which integrates known components in a novel industrial process based on a thermodynamic transformation of CO2.
The CO2 Battery technology is based on a closed-loop thermodynamic process that efficiently stores energy by manipulating CO2 under different state conditions. In charging mode, the CO2 is compressed and stored under pressure at ambient temperature in a high-density supercritical or liquid state. In discharging mode, the CO2 is expanded into a turbine and stored back into an atmospheric gasholder, releasing the energy to the grid in a closed-loop system with zero-emission to the atmosphere.
The battery can offer a Levelised Cost Of Storage (LCOS) as low as US$50-60 per MWh within a few years, whereas lithium batteries are sitting between US$132-245/MWh. Besides, Energy Dome’s thermodynamic liquid-CO2 system has a round-trip efficiency of 75-80% – higher than any other long-duration energy storage technology currently on the market, including liquid-air, compressed-air, and gravity-based solutions.
Energy Dome is now preparing for its first full-scale 20MW-200MWh plant. Its first commercial project, Commercial Operation Date, is expected to be deployed by the end of 2023.
The company has already secured multiple commercial agreements, including with an Italian utility A2A for the construction of the first 20MW-5h facility. Earlier this year, Energy Dome also signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Ansaldo Energia, a major provider of power generation plants and components, to build long-duration energy storage projects in Italy, Germany, the Middle East, and Africa.