Storing Solar Energy With Batteries

Coming on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of the successful coupling of a 1-MW battery with an 11-MW wind farm in Minnesota, two announcements today highlight the use of batteries with solar energy systems.

In Pennsylvania, U.S. battery manufacturer, International Battery announced that power electronics manufacturer, Princeton Power Systems, will be using batteries on a new solar energy system being installed at Princeton Power’s headquarters in New Jersey.

 The $1.5M 200-kilowatt solar array and energy storage system will connect to the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) electric grid.  Princeton Power said that the installation will demonstrate smart grid functionality such as microgrid operation, demand response, time shifting, frequency regulation and power dispatch.  The inverter and energy storage system will be housed in a mobile shipping container that could be scaled up to 1 MW of storage capacity.  The companies have already started testing and expect to be in full operation by the end of this year.

In Arizona, another energy storage test is being conducted using solar energy and batteries. GS Battery said that it will be participating in a test using batteries to augment the small 17-kW PV system that powers the Aperture Center at Mesa del Sol located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The test is being conducted by a partnership that consists of Mesa del Sol, GS Battery (USA) Inc. — a subsidiary and member of GS Yuasa Group of Japan — and Sandia National Laboratories, under a $75,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sandia National Laboratories will monitor and track data from the testing over the next three years to determine the viability of the power system for U.S. commercial buildings.

“This system will level out the peaks and valleys of solar power,” said Chris Anderson, Vice President of Development of Mesa del Sol. “We should double our capacity for using solar power after this system is installed and operating. The new energy power system could give us 100% utilization of our PV system.”

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