Rows of advanced lead acid batteries in far West Texas have provided 10,000 megawatt hours to the states electric grid in the past 15 months.
The 36 MW batteries can respond to grid conditions within seconds, harnessing power from the nearby 150 MW wind farm and dispersing it throughout the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
The success of Duke Energys Notrees Wind and Battery Storage Project could lead to future battery storage projects in Texas and other states, said Suzi McClellan, with Good Company Associates.
Theres definitely a future there, she said.
The batteries stabilize the voltage, provide power when the wind stops blowing or charge up when the wind power isnt needed, McClellan said.
Battery storage could become a larger part of Texas electric infrastructure now that the Energy Storage Association has started working directly with the industry group in Texas and ERCOT.
The battery storage project started as a pilot project with Duke Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy in January 2013. Duke Energy matched a $22 million grant from the DOE to build the battery storage facility in the aptly named town of Notrees west of Midland/Odessa. The pilot project ended in February.
The speed and accuracy of the systems response during the pilot confirmed the benefits of the Notrees Battery Storage Project and ERCOT has made it a permanent market service, said Tammie McGee, communications manager for Duke Energy.
By combining wind or solar power with battery storage, that eliminates one of the biggest drawbacks of renewable energy: the intermittency of the weather.
The idea is to smooth out the peaks and valleys.
Being able to respond in seconds would be another advantage. Historically, ERCOT has relied on quick-fire natural gas plants when power demand peaks on hot August days.
Source: Dallas Business Journal
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