Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has invested $1 million for research, at Southern Indiana’s Battery Innovation Center (BIC), to study how battery storage can maximize renewable power sources — such as rooftop solar panels and small wind turbines — and integrate them into the electric grid.
Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) are partnering with the BIC as part of a 2012 regulatory settlement between the OUCC and Duke Energy.
"At the heart of energy security is having renewable energy available based on demand as opposed to only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing," said David Roberts, president for BIC. "We'll be able to simulate the electric grid with this project and evaluate hardware and battery options while improving the software that controls smaller-scale renewable generation."
The project also includes testing of energy storage systems at two schools in Duke Energy’s territory. The utility is looking for schools that have renewable energy sources onsite so the facility can also serve as a living-learning lab for students.
The BIC expects to begin testing this fall. School testing will begin by winter, and continue into 2016.
The BIC is a and not-for-profit organization that incorporates leadership from universities, commercial enterprises, and government organizations to focus on the development, testing and commercialization of energy storage systems.
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