UTILITY GRID BATTERIES
Haunted by memories of blackouts and power reductions, utility and
battery companies are stepping up efforts to upgrade their substations
with larger batteries.
For instance, electric utility giant American Electric Power (Columbus,
OH) has ordered three multimegawatt battery systems, with the goal of
having 25 megawatts of storage in place by 2010, and 40 times that by
In a substation upgrade demonstration project in Charleston, VA, American
Electric Power deployed a sodium-sulfur battery the size of a double-
decker bus, plus power electronics to manage the flow of AC power in and
out of the DC battery. The battery, produced by NGK Insulators of
Nagoya,Japan, generates up to 1.2 megawatts for up to seven hours, easing
the strain on an overloaded substation.
American Electric Power hopes to leverage the capacity of the larger
storage grids to harness renewable energy sources such as wind and solar
power. The company plans to connect its third two-megawatt battery system
to a group of wind turbines at an undetermined site. The company hopes to
find out whether batteries can smooth out short-term power flow
fluctuations from the turbines, which could eventually lead to utilities
absorbing larger levels of wind power on their grids.
Find out more at http://link.abpi.net/1.php?20071023A4
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