Duke Energy Renewables completes 36 MW battery storage project at Texas wind farm

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Duke Energy Renewables has completed its 36-megawatt (MW) energy storage and power management system at its Notrees Windpower Project in west Texas. The system completed testing and became fully operational in December, 2012.

Austin-based Xtreme Power designed and installed the 36 MW-capacity Dynamic Power Resource at Notrees and will continue to operate the system. The battery storage project will help mitigate the variability of wind power, storing excess wind energy and discharging it whenever demand for electricity is highest.

Duke Energy Renewables president Greg Wolf

“Battery storage is an important innovation to address the variability of wind and solar energy generation,” said Duke Energy Renewables  president Greg Wolf. “Developing an expertise in this advanced technology will enable us to expand the use of renewable energy, better integrate it into the power grid and become even more efficient at serving our customers.”

In late 2009, Duke Energy announced plans to match a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install large-scale batteries capable of storing electricity produced by the company’s 153-MW Notrees wind farm, located in Ector and Winkler counties. The grant was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“Completion of this project represents a singular success for Duke Energy, for the DOE, and for the entire energy storage community in the U.S.,” said Dr. Imre Gyuk, program manager for energy storage at the U.S. Department of Energy. “It will demonstrate the capability of energy storage to mitigate the variability of wind energy and to contribute to the stability of the grid.”

In addition to increasing the supply of renewable energy during periods of peak demand, the system will help stabilize the frequency of electricity traveling throughout the power grid.

Duke Energy is working closely with the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which signals to the battery storage system to either dispatch stored energy to increase frequency or absorb energy to decrease frequency.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will collect performance data from the battery storage system and help assess the potential for broader adoption of energy storage solutions throughout the industry.

Technical and economic data will also be analyzed for DOE by Sandia National Laboratory. Results from the storage project at Notrees wind farm will be shared publically through the DOE’s Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse.

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