Big batteries come online
One of the biggest technical challenges to a smart grid and cleaner electricity system is affordable storage. With energy storage, grid operators can avoid using natural gas power plants to maintain a steady frequency or avoid putting generators online to meet peak-power demands. Ultimately, the hope is that bulk storage will allow solar and wind farm operators to provide electricity to the grid--regardless of wind and sun conditions--making the electricity they provide more valuable.
That's why many companies, researchers, and the Department of Energy are investing in new energy storage technologies. Here is a battery system from Xtreme Power, which is supplying batteries to smooth out the flow of electricity to the grid from a wind farm in Hawaii and other places. The system in Hawaii will be capable of delivering 30 megawatts of power and have 10 megawatt-hours of storage--enough to supply power to thousands of homes.
See related article: Grid Storage gets updraft from auto batteries.
September 17, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Xtreme Power
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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