Western Michigan University premieres battery storage project - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 18, 2018

Western Michigan University premieres battery storage project

Western Michigan University started operation on Sept. 19 of a new large-scale battery at its Parkview campus. The 1-megawatt battery’s output is about the amount of electricity used by approximately 1,000 residential customers in an hour. The project was implemented by Consumers Energy.

"Advances in battery storage technology have now reached the scale that they power entire communities on demand," said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of electric grid integration, in a statement. "Our Clean Energy Plan calls for more solar and wind electric generation facilities that will depend on battery storage to be dependable sources of energy for our customers for when the wind isn't blowing or the sun shining. The Parkview Battery Project begins the next groundbreaking chapter in the story about how clean and reliable energy reaches Consumers Energy customers."

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 867 MW of utility-scale battery capacity exists in the United States based on technology similar to the Parkview battery. Large-scale batteries can support wind and solar plant electric production when declining winds and clouds reduce their output for short periods and could threaten their reliability.

Over the next year, Consumers Energy and MSU consultants will study data generated at the new battery facility to better the potential for battery storage use around the state. Western Michigan University engineering students will also have opportunities to participate in partnerships with Consumers Energy on electric battery research and operations.

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