Duke Energy Corp. (DUK), the largest U.S. utility owner, said the world’s biggest battery power storage system has begun operating at the company’s 153-megawatt wind farm in west Texas.
The 36-megawatt Xtreme Power Inc. system can release stored power from the Notrees Wind project when needed and absorb it during times of low demand, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke said in a statement today. Closely held Xtreme Power will manage the unit at the facility, which sells electricity to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer.
The system, which Duke said in April would cost $44 million, can improve the reliability of the Texas power grid by responding quickly to fluctuations in supply and demand. Such systems may eventually help the state avoid blackouts as it faces tightening power supplies.
“Energy storage will benefit our renewables business, our customers and the energy sector as a whole,” said Greg Wolf, president of Duke’s renewables unit. Power releases from battery storage units can help provide electricity even when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.
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