BP hopes new technology will spur more wind energy development. BP installed a battery storage system for the first time at one of the company’s wind energy farms in South Dakota, a move BP hopes will provide a blueprint for adding similar power storage technology at its other U.S. wind power sites.
BP said the technology will improve energy efficiency, address the intermittency of wind power by storing surplus electricity to meet demand when the wind is not blowing, and ultimately drive development of the renewable power generation industry.
Tesla designed and manufactured the 212 kilowatt/840 kilowatt-hour battery storage system. It will be configured to manage the internal electricity demands of turbines when the wind isn’t blowing, according to BP.
BP is betting that the project will help the company develop new business models around the integration of renewables, battery storage and other forms of energy.
“Insights from this project will enable BP to make better-informed decisions when evaluating and developing battery applications in the future, as well as help us to create a wind energy business that is sustainable for the long term,” chief executive of BP Wind Energy Laura Folse said.
The research firm Wood Mackenzie estimates the world will shift from fossil fuels to renewables by 2035, a time when electric vehicles, wind power and solar power will likely be more prevalent than gasoline-powered vehicles or fossil fuel-based electricity.
The tipping point will come when new technology reaches 20 percent of market share, a sweet spot that reflects new consumer preferences and supply chains reaching a point of maturity, according to Wood Mackenzie.
BP operates 13 wind energy sites in Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. The company also owns an interest in a wind farm in Hawaii. The U.S. wind sites have a generating capacity of 2,259 megawatts, enough to power a city the size of Philadelphia.