- Duke Energy will upgrade the battery system at its 36 MW Notrees Energy Storage Project next year, switching from lead acid to lithium ion technology that is better suited for grid balancing.
- Installed in 2012, the facility was designed to store electricity generated by an adjacent wind power facility, but has largely been used for frequency regulation on the Energy Reliability Council of Texas grid.
- That means the batteries are being used much more frequently than intended, and for shorter durations, Charlotte Business Journal reports, hence the need to significantly upgrade the storage facility. Lithium batteries are better suited for fast ramping capabilities than their lead-based counterparts.
Duke completed its Notrees Battery Storage Project in west Texas in 2012, but already is planning to overhaul the facility's design. Because the 36 MW of storage is being used for grid balancing rather than storing wind energy and then continuously dispatching it later, a spokesperson from the company told Charlotte Business Journal that the batteries are not working as efficiently as they could.
“Because battery technology is rapidly evolving, we have an opportunity to upgrade the facility to better match the function that has become most valuable in the Texas market — fast response frequency regulation," Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy's commercial portfolio, said in a statement.
Over the course of 2016, Duke intends to replace the lead acid batteries with lithium-ion technology, in partnership with Samsung SDI and Younicos. By some estimates, Duke controls 15% of the nation's battery-based energy storage; the Notrees facility has been used to help smooth and balance peaks and valleys on the ERCOT grid.
“Our solution is designed to boost Duke Energy’s performance in the ERCOT fast responding regulation service market, and we are committed to partner with Duke Energy throughout the lifecycle of the product," said Woochan Kim, senior vice president of energy storage for Samsung SDI.