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Solar- and wind-powered batteries are coming

- Jan 19, 2018 -

Solar- and wind-powered batteries are coming to a grid near you

Using batteries, often wind or solar charged, for utility-scale power storage is a new, but rapidly growing component of the utility industry. Batteries, with their instantaneous response time, help flatten the duck curve by storing, then releasing energy during evening peak demand hours. The batteries can reduce or even possibly eliminate the need for peaker plants.

Microgrids are small (roughly 2-40 megawatt) electrical grids with on-site energy storage, increasingly using batteries. Normally connected to the main grid, microgrids can isolate themselves when the macro grid goes down due to storms, accidents, glitches, hacking, etc., and provide power to their covered area for a period of time, usually ranging from hours to days or longer.

Thanks to fast falling solar, wind, and battery costs, renewable charged batteries are becoming advantageous. And, as Elon Musk showed with his now famous 100-day Australian bet, batteries go in fast and once in place can instantaneously feed power as needed into the grid.

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