Xcel Energy has been testing the first grid-scale battery storage system in the United States at an 11-megawatt wind farm in western Minnesota. The company's recently released interim report (PDF) indicates that this type of storage can be useful to the Smart Grid and can aid in the deployment of wind power.
The one megawatt sodium-sulfur battery has been undergoing testing since 2008 near Sioux Falls SD. The final report will be complete in 2011, following the next phase of testing which will examine "the potential value of the various battery system functions and determine the potential cost effectiveness of the technology." Xcel considers this to be a small-scale demonstration project that will help determine its strategy for future deployment of "proven technologies that meet or exceed cost, reliability, and environmental requirements."
Several different issues were being tested with the battery installation including the effectiveness of shifting wind generated energy from off-peak to on-peak availability, balancing the variability of wind generated power, and responding to real-time imbalances between generation and load. All of these traits are important for the expanded and efficient use of wind power.
written by Gladys, August 12, 2010
written by Alessandro Machi, August 12, 2010
written by Matt Shaw, August 12, 2010
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