American developer Duke Energy Renewables has hailed as an “important innovation” for renewables the completion of a 36MW battery storage project at one of its Texas wind farms.
The company said the storage and power management system at its 153MW Notrees wind farm in west Texas would help mitigate the variability of wind power by storing excess wind energy and discharging it whenever demand for electricity is highest.
With variability and grid integration a major challenge for solar energy, the new technology is likely to have benefits for that technology too, Duke said.
“Battery storage is an important innovation to address the variability of wind and solar energy generation,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf.
“Developing an expertise in this advanced technology will enable us to expand the use of renewable energy, better integrate it into the power grid and become even more efficient at serving our customers.”
The US Department of Energy, which provided Duke Energy with a US$22 million grant to develop the project, agreed the project was a milestone for energy storage.
Dr Imre Gyuk, Programme Manager for energy storage at the DoE, said: “Completion of this project represents a singular success for Duke Energy, for the DOE, and for the entire energy storage community in the U.S. It will demonstrate the capability of energy storage to mitigate the variability of wind energy and to contribute to the stability of the grid.”
The battery system was designed and developed by Texas-based storage company Xtreme Power.
The Electric Power Research Institute will collect performance data from the battery storage system and help assess the potential for broader adoption of energy storage solutions throughout the industry.
Results from the storage project at Notrees wind farm will be shared publically via the DOE.