Xcel Energy to store wind power with new battery

Utility company Xcel Energy will begin testing a new one-megawatt (MW) battery that will be charged by wind power. The battery, which is being made by Japan’s NGK Insulators Ltd., could power 500 homes for over 7 hours. It’s designed to be used to store wind power so that it can be distributed consistently, and will be able to provide power during times when the wind is not blowing.

According to Frank Novacheck, Xcel Director of Corporate Planning, “”The variability of the wind causes other supply resources on the system to have to vary to accommodate that wind. Because of the amount of wind we are going to be putting in our systems, those higher penetrations of wind can cause some problems in cycling of our systems, so we are looking at storage to provide that shock absorption to help us manage taking as much wind as we possibly can.”

Testing will begin in October at an 11 MW wind farm in Luverne, Minnesota.

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