Episode 174: What’s the advantage of adding energy storage to a wind project?

Wind Turbines

Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, discusses the advantages of adding energy storage to wind projects.

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The Role of Energy Storage in Accessing Remote Wind Resources in the Midwest by Julian Lamy, Ineš L. Azevedo and Paulina Jaramillo

Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy by the Department of Energy

Frequently Asked Questions About Windy Energy by the Department of Energy

Transcript

HOST: Have you ever wondered how energy storage, like large-scale batteries, could help make wind energy projects more economical? On this week’s Energy Bite, Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

JULIAN: Wind projects generate electricity intermittently depending on when the wind is blowing. In some hours, the project produces 100 % of its max capacity, but in other hours it produces 0 energy. But if the project could store energy, then it could deliver power more consistently throughout the day, for example, 50% of its capacity in each hour. One major advantage of this scenario is that the amount of transmission capacity needed for the project now reduces by 50% since the maximum power produced in each hour decreases. This can save millions of dollars in transmission investment costs for big wind projects.

HOST: So, when is this application of batteries economical?

JULIAN: Current costs for storage, like Aquion Energy’s batteries, are about 3 to 5 times what’s needed to make this application economical. So perhaps this would make sense in the future…but storage is a bit too expensive today.

HOST: Would you be willing to pay more for wind energy to incorporate the cost of energy storage? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org

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