Gaelectric and Dresser-Rand form Strategic Alliance for Development of European Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) projects

PR Newswire

HOUSTON, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dresser-Rand Group Inc. ("Dresser-Rand" or the "Company") (DRC) announced today that it has entered into a strategic alliance with renewable energy group, Gaelectric, to develop Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) project(s) in Europe.  Under the Strategic Alliance agreement, Gaelectric and Dresser-Rand will collaborate on the design, development, engineering, procurement, and commissioning of CAES projects throughout Europe.

Initially Gaelectric and Dresser-Rand will work together on the most advanced European CAES project which is being developed by Gaelectric near Larne, Northern Ireland. When completed the Larne CAES project will comprise a 268 MW twin power train storage and electricity generation facility.  The project envisages a total investment of up to £300 million with a target commissioning date of 2017.  Dresser-Rand's initial scope of supply will include project management, scheduling and technical support services thru the planning phase of the Larne project including front end engineering and design in 2014. Full project release is expected at the end of 2014. The project will have significant local economic impacts, including job creation peaking at approximately 300 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase and on-going employment of up to 50 in operations. It is expected 25% of total project costs will be spent in Northern Ireland. 

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) refers to the storage of energy in the form of compressed air in caverns created within geological salt layers located typically at depths of between 450m and 850m beneath the Earth's surface.   Energy is stored by compressing air during periods of low energy demand utilizing compressor technology located at ground level.  This stored energy is then available for use in subsequent periods of higher energy demand when it can be released and applied in generating power using significantly lower amounts of natural gas to generate peak time electricity. 

CAES technology provides flexible, efficient, and cost effective management of electricity transmission to help meet the challenges of integrating large-scale renewable generation into power systems.  Intermittent renewable power (such as wind) can be stored when it is generated and released when it is needed.  Other benefits include lower overall energy costs, maximum use of indigenous renewable energy resources, greater energy security through reduced reliance on imported fossil fuels, and a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of power systems through more sustainable energy generation and management.

Commenting, Gaelectric CEO, Brendan McGrath said: "Dresser-Rand is the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of compression technologies to power markets, and the market leader in CAES technology. Specifically, its heritage and know-how in developing CAES projects over the last 3 decades will be invaluable to the Larne CAES project. We see Larne as the first phase in delivering flexible, efficient and cost effective energy storage to power markets in Europe, and central to achieving targets for the integration of renewable energy sources in the United Kingdom and within the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland."

He added: "The direct economic impacts from the project itself and the technical innovation skills and know-how it will create within Northern Ireland, will be invaluable in rolling out other CAES projects across the UK and to the European mainland." 

Keith McGrane, Head of Gaelectric's Energy Storage Division added:  "The Larne CAES Project will see the development of a flexible bulk energy storage plant that will allow for better and more cost effective management of electricity generation in Northern Ireland.  It will enhance energy security whilst facilitating the target of achieving 40% of electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2020. This strategic alliance with Dresser-Rand will enhance our capabilities in delivering the Larne CAES Project and, at the same time, allow us to lever our understanding of how CAES can contribute to the efficient operation of energy markets and our development expertise across a number of other European markets."

Dresser­-Rand Executive Vice President for Global Solutions, Jerry Walker said: "We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Gaelectric as a strategic alliance partner and on the Larne CAES project specifically.  Gaelectric has a strong commitment to Northern Ireland as a leading independent developer of wind energy projects, and a clear understanding and commitment to energy storage as the essential enabler in integrating large amounts of renewables on to power systems across Europe.  CAES is a unique energy storage technology provided by Dresser-Rand that takes advantage of geological locations, such as Larne, that have salt deposits to create the caverns used to store energy as compressed air.  It is a proven energy storage technology that has been in operation for over 20 years."   

About Gaelectric Energy Storage

Gaelectric Energy Storage is the energy storage business of Gaelectric which is a renewable energy development and operations business with operations in the UK, Republic of Ireland and the United States. Gaelectric is a significant developer and operator of wind energy projects in Northern Ireland.  It also has substantial wind energy assets in the United States centered in the State of Montana.  Since its establishment in 2004, Gaelectric has demonstrated its ability to create and develop out an extensive portfolio of renewable energy projects in multiple markets. Gaelectric's business is centered on three core areas of activity, namely –

  • On-shore wind energy development and operations on the island of Ireland
  • Energy storage systems and off-shore energy development
  • On-shore wind energy development in the United States

Gaelectric has offices in Dublin, Belfast, Chicago and Great Falls, Montana.

About Dresser-Rand

Dresser-Rand is among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical, and process industries.  The Company operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Norway, and India and maintains a network of 49 service and support centers (including 6 engineering and R&D centers) covering more than 150 countries. Dresser-Rand has principal offices in Paris, France and Houston, Texas.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, the Company's plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future bookings, revenues, or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs, plans, or intentions relating to acquisitions, business trends, executive compensation, and other information that is not historical information, particularly the statements concerning the re-emergence of the use of CAES technology, the estimated number of CAES projects contemplated over the next 5 to 10 years and Dresser-Rand's estimated potential opportunity with respect to each CAES project.  The words "anticipates", "believes", "expects", "intends", "appears", "outlook," and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements.  Although the Company believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous factors, risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected.  These factors, risks, and uncertainties include, among others, the following: the inability to obtain the requisite funding for the construction of the project; economic or industry downturns; the variability of bookings due to volatile market conditions, subjectivity clients exercise in placing orders, and timing of large orders; volatility and disruption of the credit markets; its inability to generate cash and access capital on reasonable terms and conditions; its inability to implement its business strategy to increase aftermarket parts and services revenue; its ability to comply with local content requirements; delivery delays by certain third party suppliers of large equipment; cost overruns and fixed-price contracts; its ability to implement potential tax strategies; competition in its markets; failure to complete or achieve the expected benefits from any future acquisitions; economic, political, currency and other risks associated with international sales and operations; fluctuations in currencies and volatility in exchange rates; loss of senior management; environmental compliance costs and liabilities; failure to maintain safety performance acceptable to its clients; failure to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements; a failure or breach of our information system security; unexpected product claims and regulations; infringement on its intellectual property or infringement on others' intellectual property; its pension expenses and funding requirements; difficulty in implementing an information management system; and the Company's brand name may be confused with others.  These and other risks are discussed in detail in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.  Actual results, performance, or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements.  The Company can give no assurances that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if any of them does, what impact they will have on results of operations and financial condition.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law.  For information about Dresser-Rand, go to its website at www.dresser-rand.com.

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