North Carolina, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Duke Energy announced this week that it will receive and intends to match a US $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to design, build and install large-scale batteries to store wind energy at one of its wind farms in Texas.
The batteries at Duke Energy’s Notrees Windpower Project in Ector and Winkler counties, Texas, will store excess wind energy and discharge it whenever demand for electricity is highest.
This project represents one of the first demonstrations of energy storage at a utility-scale wind farm. The 95 wind turbines in operation at Duke Energy’s Notrees site have an installed capacity of 151 megawatts. In April 2009, Walmart began purchasing energy directly from the Notrees project to power up to 15 percent of its stores and facilities in Texas.
The total value of the 20-MW energy storage project at Duke Energy’s Notrees site is US $43.6 million. The DOE grant was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Duke Energy and DOE must negotiate the terms and conditions of the grant before any funds are released.
“Energy storage truly has the potential to serve as a ‘game-changer’ when it comes to renewable power,” said Wouter van Kempen, president of Duke Energy Generation Services, a Duke Energy unit that owns and develops renewable energy assets. “Through this project, Duke Energy intends to show that renewables can play an even bigger role in our country’s energy future.”