Texas Wind Farms Get Battery Storage Upgrades
Smart wind turbines with batteries will be deployed courtesy of GE and Invenergy in Texas this year, feeding energy into the state's grid from a source that has at times accounted for over a quarter of its total electricity.
GE said Invenergy ordered three 2.5-megawatt turbines that come with sodium-nickel battery storage and power-regulations software for an 86-turbine wind farm going up this year. That announcement comes just two months after GE revealed its “brilliant” turbine and Duke Energy tested a 36-megawatt battery system at a wind farm in West Texas.
The energy captured will be used during times of peak demand, when air conditioners and factories need it the most.
Texas leads the country in installed wind capacity—a figure that continues to grow. As a result, grid operators are turning more to energy storage to gain more certainty from their power sources. Fortunately, GE says its system will allow for predictable energy flow over 15 to 60 minute periods.
“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,” Keith Longtin, who manages the wind product line for GE’s renewable energy business, said in a statement.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.