Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries
July 28, 2010
By MATTHEW L. WALD of the New York Times: The rapid growth of wind farms, whose output is hard to schedule reliably or even predict, has the nation’s electricity providers scrambling to develop energy storage to ensure stability and improve profits.
As the wind installations multiply, companies have found themselves dumping energy late at night, adjusting the blades so they do not catch the wind, because there is no demand for the power. And grid operators, accustomed to meeting demand by adjusting supplies, are now struggling to maintain stability as supplies fluctuate. On the cutting edge of a potential solution is Hawaii, where state officials want 70 percent of energy needs to be met by renewable sources like the wind, sun or biomass by 2030. A major problem is that it is impossible for generators on the islands to export surpluses to neighboring companies or to import power when the wind towers are becalmed. Read more