Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

The Rush Springs Energy Storage Facility in Oklahoma is conducting trials for NextEra Energy’s renewable energy. The facility is hosting nine structures that will be pairing with the grid for more tests. The structures contain numerous batteries capable of running a laptop. Those batteries give NextEra’s wind farm the ability to keep generating a limited amount of energy for a short period that can be used on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid, even when Oklahoma’s winds are calm.

The batteries will enable the NextEra wind farm to supply constant energy quantities to power the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid. Nevertheless, the facility supplies 10 MW of electricity, which is the lowest quantity entering the grid compared to 250 MW coming in from the nearby wind farm when it is fully operational. NextEra and SPP initiated this program as a pilot to the upcoming project to inform the development of more structures to meet the grid’s demands.

Additionally, the facility is bringing in new technology to store renewable energy and supply it in constant quantities even when the weather changes unfavorably. The grid operators will experience an uninterrupted supply of wind energy, thereby keeping their customers satisfied. Brian Tobin, an executive of NextEra’s energy storage technology, is happy that they can meet customers’ demands without giving weather changes as an excuse for incompetence.

Tobin explained that integrating renewable energy structures like wind turbines with the batteries that store the energy ensures that energy is supplied when needed. The batteries take up as much energy as they can carry before allowing the remainder to pass through directly to the grid at regulated quantities. The batteries retain the energy until such a time when demand exceeds the quantity entering the grid from the turbines.

NextEra’s director of communications, Bryan Garner, explained that this integration started early as a pilot program and is currently heading towards expansion to become a mega supplier to the SPP grid. Additionally, more projects are developing alongside it to innovate the right technology for linking the batteries with the turbines. 

The two companies expect to meet the demands of Oklahoma and Texas residents. The two companies are working together to develop storage technology for renewable energy to capture as much energy as possible when the weather is favorable. SPP’s senior executive of operations, Bruce Rew, stated that they are evaluating how to maintain a mix between battery technology and the expansion of resources to capture renewable energy. The available energy storage units have proved that they can meet the demand of utilities and small power storage systems like generators. Currently, they are analyzing how they can develop new technology to supply energy to the grid. In conclusion, the two firms are working on a program that will bring an equivalent of 250 MW on the grid. Nevertheless, the technology they are working on can meet the needs of the grid at affordable costs. 

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