GE (NYSE: GE) and Invenergy announce the purchase of the first 2.5-120 brilliant wind turbines in the world. Invenergy has ordered three units as part of an 86-turbine deal with GE for its Mills County, Texas, wind farm. The 2.5-120, announced in January, harnesses the power of the Industrial Internet to analyze tens of thousands of data points every second. This helps manage wind variability and provides reliable, short-term predictable power, while communicating seamlessly with neighboring turbines, service technicians and operators.
New Configuration Enables Operators to Capture the Wind for Short-Term Energy Storage
The 2.5-120 is the first wind turbine to incorporate short-term battery storage as part of the complete turbine package. Integrating the battery into the wind turbine allows wind farm operators to reap the benefits of energy storage without the high costs of farm-level battery storage installation. This revolutionary design integrates GE’s advanced Durathon Battery technology with three software applications (apps). The resulting intelligent system enables power producers and the wind turbines themselves to make data-informed decisions and provide short-term predictable power.
“With rapid expansion of the United States wind industry over the past five years, wind power plays an increasingly important role in America’s energy mix,” said Keith Longtin, general manager, wind product line for GE’s renewable energy business. “This new marriage of battery storage and advanced software within a wind turbine allows forward-thinking wind energy producers like Invenergy to shift the winds in its favor—increasing wind power’s efficiency and short-term predictability.”
The 2.5-120 brilliant turbines are scheduled to be installed this year at the Goldthwaite Wind Energy facility, currently under construction in central Texas. The project is expected to commence full commercial operation by the end of 2013. Subsequently, Invenergy will be among the first power producers to test the benefits of data-driven, turbine-to-battery communication in predicting wind power production in 15-60-minute increments.
”As America’s largest independent wind power generation company, innovation is critical to our continued industry leadership,” said Michael Polsky, Invenergy’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re pleased that this new brilliant turbine will provide cutting-edge technological advancements, particularly in renewable energy integration with storage.”
GE’s engineers have created three battery-enabled software applications that integrate seamlessly with the wind turbine to provide enhanced wind power availability. Wind developers and operators can select the application or combination of applications that best suits individual site needs.
• Ramp Control: Today, when wind speed increases quickly, the grid cannot always absorb the extra wind power produced. GE’s Ramp Control App allows the brilliant turbine to capture “wasted” wind power and store it in the battery, meaning operators can capture revenue previously left on the table.
• Predictable Power: Power producers must be able to provide consistent and predictable power to the grid, but the variability of wind can make smooth grid integration challenging. The Predictable Power App allows the brilliant turbine to smooth out the short-term peaks and valleys in wind power and make it predictable over periods of 15-60 minutes.
• Frequency Regulation: Power demand changes throughout the day, and grid operators must keep up with its constant fluctuation. Grid operators look to power producers to respond rapidly to keep the grid balanced. The Frequency Regulation App allows wind farms to store energy in the battery and respond immediately to load changes with ultimate precision.