Geomechanical Pumped Storage

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San Francisco, California
Project Term:
04/03/2019 - 05/31/2022

Critical Need:

Stationary electrical energy storage plays several important roles in the U.S. electricity system, and these are expected to grow as the grid continues to evolve. Long-duration energy storage systems address grid needs beyond those covered by daily cycling. Such systems could provide backup power for several days, improving grid resiliency, or allow for the integration of even larger amounts of intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar. In the near term, such systems could help shape the output from individual wind and solar installations, improving the reliability of these resources and thus greatly increasing their value to the grid.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

The Quidnet Energy team will develop a modified pumped hydro energy storage system that stores energy via high-pressure water in the subsurface. To charge, the team will pump water into confined rock underground, creating high pressures. When energy is needed later, the pressure forces water back up the well and through a generator to produce electricity. The Quidnet team will demonstrate the reversibility of this process and the ability to translate it across multiple types of geography within the U.S.

Potential Impact:

If successful, DAYS projects will provide new forms of long-duration stationary electricity storage systems that enhance grid resiliency, provide low-cost energy capacity, support grid infrastructure, and enable a greater share of intermittent renewable resources in the generation mix.


Long-duration storage can help prevent blackouts and smooth overall grid operation, improving resilience and enhancing grid security.


New, extended storage options could enable greater integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, greatly reducing emissions from the power sector.


Energy storage technologies could help improve grid efficiency and promote the growth of domestic renewable energy sources.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Halle Cheeseman
Project Contact:
Howard Schmidt
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Project Contact Email:

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