Monday, February 01, 2010

Green shoots

This is good news for green energy sources because distributed community storage will be key to efficient use of local solar and wind power:

Start-up International Battery on Monday said that it has been chosen to supply lithium ion batteries for a community energy storage pilot project run by utility AEP set to go online by the middle of this year.

In each location, the utility plans to install at least one 25-kilowatt storage unit, able to deliver one hour of electricity, or 25 kilowatt-hours of energy.

Right now, the storage system will work to smooth out peak demand, while in the future it can be used to accommodate various small-scale energy sources. From a system point of view, it is important to note that barriers to green energy are not necessarily technical.

Storage, and specifically large-scale battery systems, are expensive and can be difficult for utilities to justify financially under traditional regulations, which are structured around power plant investments.

That is, old system configurations and incentives favor traditional, century-old approach, developed to attract large-scale industrial providers and consumers. Our infrastructure is still rooted in the 19th century, and it will take a while to change it.

tags: energy, distribution, storage, control, infrastructure, solution, problem

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