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Solving the Wind Energy Dilemma

Battery Storage System to Power Grid when Wind Doesn't Blow
Notrees -- Wind power isn't always reliable. After all, it's only beneficial when the wind blows. But some new technology is changing the game.

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, Duke Energy will soon be able to store power when the wind blows, which can then be used to power the grid when wind turbines are at a stand still.
   
"The problem with the wind industry historically has been it doesn't look much like a conventional power plant, meaning we can't put power on the grid at any point in time because it's wind dependent," said Casey Hayes, Duke Energy plant manager.
   
But a multi-million dollar battery storage facility being built by Xtreme Power at the Duke Energy wind farm in Notrees could change everything.  It's the largest facility of it's kind in the world that will soon be able to kick in and power Texas even when the wind dies down.

"You bring the battery system in and store the power that way when the wind farm is not operating, meaning when there's no wind, we can still put power on to the grid," said Hayes.

Storing that much power takes a lot of batteries. 28,800 to be exact. When power is needed, the 36-Megawatt battery storage system will be able to send power anywhere on the grid in the state of Texas.

"It can be right here local to the Permian Basin. It can be pulled from the grid here. It can be pulled from the grid in Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio. Where ever the power is needed," added Hayes.
   
The Dynamic Power Resource system was made possible through a grant by the Department of Energy, who is always looking to expand on the future of energy.

"They actually partnered with Duke Energy, and they're gonna be responsible for 50 percent of the capital investment and we've got the other 50 percent," said Hayes.  All told, a $45 million project, which Hayes believes will be well worth the investment.

After 15 months of construction, the battery storage facility is expected to be complete on December 14. They hope to have everything up and running by the end of this year.
   
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