- The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (IOUCC) will partner with the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) to use $1 million in Duke Energy-contributed funding for research on advanced energy storage, especially as it could be used in homes and businesses to better serve local communities.
- The research, funded by money required of Duke Energy in a settlement for cost overruns and ethics violations during development and construction of its Edwardsport IGCC coal facility, will focus on how variable solar and wind energies can be efficiently stored and integrated into the electricity delivery system.
- The research will also study the use of energy storage as backup for supply shortages or grid disruptions. Batteries will be installed at two schools — still unnamed — in the Duke Indiana service territory that have renewable energy systems.
The BIC expects pilot project testing to begin later in 2015. The school programs are scheduled for early 2016.
U.S. energy storage capacity grew 40% from 2013 to 2014 and is expected to triple to 220 MW this year. Over half the utility executives queried in Utility Dive’s recently released State of the Electric Utility 2015 survey picked energy storage as the most important emerging technology.
That level of growth is expected slow in 2016 and then pick up again and continue for at least the next five years, according to the GTM Research-Energy Storage Association U.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2014 Year In Review. There is likely to be over 800 MW of energy storage installations in 2019 and cumulative deployments of over 2.5 GW.
The not-for-profit BIC, which is adjacent to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, is a public-private partnership between universities, commercial enterprises, and government organizations for development, testing, and commercialization of energy storage systems for commercial and defense organizations.