Underground Sun Conversion - Start

Start of "Underground Sun Conversion – FlexStore" project

Start of "Underground Sun Conversion – FlexStore" project

Sustainable storage for the renewable energy system of the future

From December 2020, the “Underground Sun Conversion – Flexible Storage” (USC-FlexStore) project will investigate seasonal storage of large quantities of renewable energy to be made available year round.

This innovative international project is aimed at developing a seasonal, high-volume transformation and storage solution for erratic renewable generation. Energy will be stored safely in gaseous form in underground facilities at depths of over 1,000 metres.

The aim of the project is to take RAG Austria AG’s patented “Underground Sun Conversion” (USC) technology (which involves methanation of CO2 and green H2) to the next level, and to design services based on it. Field tests are planned at RAG’s research facility in Pilsbach (Upper Austria).

Press release 22 January 2021

Geological history in fast motion: renewable natural gas produced from solar power and water, 1,000 metres underground

Geological history in fast motion: renewable natural gas produced from solar power and water, 1,000 metres underground

The successful Underground Sun Storage project, which focused on the storage of wind and solar energy in naturally formed gas reservoirs, is to be taken to the next stage.

Building on the research conducted so far, for the first time the Underground Sun Conversion project will enable production of natural gas directly within a gas reservoir using a microbiological process initiated specifically for this purpose by RAG, and to store it in the same reservoir.
This innovative method is unique worldwide, and recreates the natural process by which gas originates, but shortens it by millions of years – geological history in fast motion.

Project description

Houskapreis 2018 – Audience award

Houskapreis 2018 – Audience award

In the category „university research“ the project „Rechargeable GeoBatteries - Microbial Production and Storage of Renewable Natural Gas in Exploited Reservoirs“ has been honoured with the Houska Award by a professional audience. This project was conducted by Prof.Dr. Andreas P. Loibner (BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) and provides the basis for the “Underground Sun Conversion“ project.

More Details

Work begins on construction of test facility in Pilsbach, Upper Austria

Work begins on construction of test facility in Pilsbach, Upper Austria

Pilsbach / 1st March 2018. Construction of the Underground Sun Conversion test facility at Pilsbach in Upper Austria will start in early March at the same site where the forerunner project, Underground Sun Storage, was successfully carried out. “What we have achieved in the laboratory at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences will now be tested in situ. Based on the research results so far, we are confident that we will soon be able to harvest natural gas, produced by us from solar energy, from the Pilsbach natural gas reservoir,” explained Mitteregger.

Press information 1 March 2018

 
Video: Underground Sun Conversion​​​​​​​