Minneapolis, Minnesota [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Xcel Energy has announced that it will begin testing a technology to store wind energy in batteries. It will be one of the first projects to use the technology in the United States for direct wind energy storage.
Xcel Energy will begin testing a one-megawatt battery-storage technology to demonstrate its ability to store wind energy and move it to the electricity grid when needed. Fully charged, the battery could power 500 homes for more than 7 hours. The 20 50-kilowatt battery modules will be roughly the size of two semi trailers and weigh approximately 80 tons. They will be able to store about 7.2 megawatt-hours of electricity, with a charge/discharge capacity of one megawatt. When the wind blows, the batteries are charged. When the wind calms down, the batteries supplement the power flow.
“Energy storage is key to expanding the use of renewable energy,” said Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “This technology has the potential to reduce the impact caused by the variability and limited predictability of wind energy generation. As the nation’s leader in distributing wind energy, this will be very important to both us and our customers.”