OUC is considering deploying a long-duration energy storage (LDES) power plant in a move to ensure grid reliability and meet its net-zero carbon emissions goal. According to an agreement with Malta Inc., OUC will “explore” the use of the Massachusetts-based company’s utility-scale 100+ megawatt LDES system.

Malta’s electro-thermal storage solution converts electricity to thermal energy that is stored in molten salt. A utility-scale heat engine then regenerates gigawatt hours of electricity for use on the grid when needed. Malta’s LDES plant provides more hours of energy storage than lithium ion battery storage and would diversify OUC’s energy storage options. The increased duration power plant would support OUC’s transition from fossil fuel energy generation to less reliable clean and renewable energy resources like solar.

The Malta power plant would be situated at OUC’s Indian River Plant in Titusville.

“Long-duration energy storage is vital to OUC’s clean energy plans and our commitment to significantly reduce CO² emissions. Malta’s innovative energy storage solution would help us reduce our CO² emissions and provide a cleaner, greener energy future for our customers,” said Clint Bullock, OUC General Manager & CEO.

OUC’s Electric Integrated Resource Plan calls for ending the use of coal no later than 2027 and sets the utility on a course to reach net zero CO² emissions by 2050, with interim carbon reductions of 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2040. Pairing Malta’s energy storage system with OUC’s growing investment in solar would help achieve the utility’s carbon-reduction goals while also leveraging experienced staff to operate large energy storage projects like Malta.