As a power-hungry Texas looks for more electricity generation, Chamisa Energy believes the solution may be underground: compressed air stored in man-made salt caverns in the Panhandle.

The Santa Fe, N.M.-based company has a 514-acre site near Tulia, a small town about 50 miles south of Amarillo, that company officials believe is the right mix of geography, geology and timing.

The technology is not new, but company officials say using it to maximize wind generation would be a first for Texas.

Generators will use wind-generated electricity, mostly at night when power demands are low and prices are cheapest, to compress air into salt caverns that will be carved 2,000 feet below the surface. As the demand for electricity rises during the day, the process is reversed and a mixture of compressed air and a small amount of natural gas would generate power.

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