Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) are partnering with the Battery Innovation Center to advance energy storage research, particularly as it applies to homes and communities. The initiative is part of a 2012 regulatory settlement between the OUCC and Duke Energy.
Storing energy from the sun and wind and using it efficiently on the electric grid will be the focus of new research at Southern Indiana's Battery Innovation Center (BIC), located southwest of Bloomington.
According to Duke, BIC is a public-private partnership and not-for-profit organization that incorporates leadership from world-class universities, commercial enterprises and government organizations to focus on the rapid development, testing and commercialization of safe, reliable and lighter-weight energy storage systems for commercial and defense organizations.
Located adjacent to Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, the BIC provides both a virtual collaborative network of capabilities needed for development of next generation energy storage solutions, as well as a new, state-of-the-art, $15.6 million energy research lab.
Duke Energy is funding $1 million in research at the 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.
The project also includes installing energy storage systems at two schools served by Duke Energy, preferably with renewable energy sources already on-site.
After the project lab is created, testing is expected to begin in the fall. The school programs will begin by winter, and testing will continue into 2016.
For more information on how storage can be deployed to improve grid reliability and enable greater penetration of renewable energy, visit the Hybrid Energy Innovations event site here.