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RES America Showcases its RESolve Storage system used for research at the National Wind Energy Center.
RES America Showcases its RESolve Storage system used for research at the National Wind Energy Center.

With Renewable Energy Storage, Blackouts Could Be "Gone with the Wind"

Research will assess controls on renewable energy storage systems to support power to the grid when main power sources fail.

As part of research aligned with the U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Modernization Initiative, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) selected a 1-megawatt energy storage system from Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas to examine the potentials of renewable-energy storage for reliable energy.

The NREL’s current areas of renewable energy-to-grid research include advanced inverters, advanced distribution management systems, distributed controls, and renewable resource management and forecasting. Now with the RESolve system, it can explore battery technology and controls supplied by players in renewable energy and energy storage.

Testing with the RESolve storage system will take place at the NREL’s National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. RES handled the engineering and construction of the storage system, while LG Chem supplied the system's batteries and SMA provided the power conversion system (PCS) unit. Siemens installed the pad-mount transformer. The storage system connects directly into the power grid through the NWTC’s controllable grid interface.

Installation of the RESolve system was completed this April. NREL research staff will proceed to demonstrate more than 10 applications with the RESolve system including frequency regulation and renewable energy integration with the grid. It will also test capabilities in grid-to-island transition, where storage systems can supply power to distributed or local grid systems during grid failure. It will also demonstrate the storage's "black start", where storage supplies power to the grid when main power generation plants using oil and gas experience difficulties.


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