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World’s largest wind power battery to be installed in Texas

April 19th, 2011 · No Comments

Texans are world famous for their fondness to do things BIG. Now worlds largest wind power battery to be installed in Texas.

Texans are world famous for their fondness to do things BIG. In 2009, the largest wind farm in the world (627 wind turbine) at the time opened in Roscoe, Texas. This year, the Lone Star State will be adding another behemoth to its list of oversized trophies.

Plans are currently underway to install the world’s largest energy storage battery at the 153-megawatt Notrees Windpower Project near Kermit in the Texas panhandle area owned by North Carolina power giant Duke Energy. An Austin-based startup called Xtreme Power will also be working with Duke to complete the installation of the proposed 153-megawatt battery.

The installation of this gigantic energy storage device could prove extremely important o the wind energy sector as wind farms expand and their generation capacities increase. Winds at time can be erratic and at peak generating time, large wind farms can produce electricity that’s far more than what the grids can absorb or distribute. At other times, there isn’t enough wind to harness and the turbines can stay motionless for hours on end. Without a large enough storage device, much of the excess energy generated during peak times go to waste.

A battery, such as the one being installed, can help in storing the excess power and releasing it during peak demand times or when the blades aren’t turning. The idea, of course, is to provide the grid with a much more consistent and even power generation and distribution. According to Duke Energy,

“This system will store excess wind energy and discharge it whenever demand for electricity is highest — not just when wind turbine blades are turning. In addition to increasing the supply of renewable energy during periods of peak demand.”

It’s an interesting concept but it would take a lot of these batteries to be able to make a difference in storing surplus energy from the large wind and solar farms. It’s a continuing development in the renewables sector and the more investments focused on research and the development, the sooner the engineers can come up with effective and scalable solutions.

The federal Department of Energy provided a $22 million grant for the project matching Duke Energy’s investment for the development of this storage device.

Via: Grist
Photo: Timothy Tolle on Flickr

Tags: Clean Technology