Stimulus funding helps wind battery research

TEXAS - North Carolina's Duke Energy said it plans to match a $22 million federal grant to examine the use of batteries to store wind energy from a Texas wind farm.

Duke Energy said it plans to match funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to design, build and install batteries for the storage of wind energy from its Nortress Windpower Project in western Texas.

Wind farm development has expanded as the global community looks for alternatives to conventional fossil fuels. The technology is limited to energy production only under certain weather conditions, however.

Duke said it plans to develop a large-scale battery to store excess wind energy for the distribution of electricity when wind turbines are not in cycle.

"Energy storage truly has the potential to serve as a game-changer when it comes to renewable power," said Wouter van Kempen, president of Duke Energy Generation Services, a Duke Energy subsidiary involved in renewable energy.

The Nortress wind farm consists of 95 wind turbines. The facility has a peak energy production of 151 megawatts of clean electricity.

Duke received its funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Duke and the U.S. Department of Energy must negotiate the terms of the financial stimulus before any of the funding is made available.


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