November 5, 2013

Renewables, Energy Storage and Utilities

Xtreme Power / Duke Energy - Notrees Energy Storage Project

"Utility giant Duke Energy is testing several pilot projects that use microgrids and standalone storage systems to buffer wind and solar power as they come and go, and to provide essential grid management services like price arbitrage, reliability support, "reactive power" (don't ask — seriously, don't!), and other highly technical functions that only engineers understand.

"At Duke Energy, our focus now is not so much looking for the next great battery, but finding out how to create the best value for the grid and our customers," wrote vice president David Mohler. "Better yet, how do we make energy storage tackle a number of tasks for the grid — instead of being a 'one-trick pony' concentrating on a single area?"
The Duke pilots include a 36-MW advanced lead acid battery system in Notrees, Texas; a Rankin Energy Storage System in Gaston County, North Carolina.; an islandable microgrid in Charlotte, N.C.; and another microgrid at a shopping mall in Carmel, Ind.
Notrees Energy Storage Project

The kind of testing that Duke is doing is a critical part of the good grid planning that allowed Germany to accommodate more renewable power than naysayers said was possible. So it's encouraging to see this kind of exploration finally being done in the United States. "
You can read the entire article here. It also discusses California's new energy storage mandate to install energy storage equivalent to 1% of projected peak demand in 2020. 

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