Development of a Method for Adding 10 Minutes of Energy Storage Buffer to a 100 Megawatt Wind Farm

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Sponsor: Austin Energy

Date: Spring 2011

Requirements:
Austin Energy required the team to consider all possible energy storage technologies. The final solution must provide 100 MW of electrical power for at least 10 minutes. The transient response requirement is set to less than six seconds because the team requires the energy storage buffer to respond within 1% of its energy output duration of 10 minutes. Another important requirement is that the final solution must be readily available for complete installation by 2015. The team is also required to search for a solution that does not have significant environmental impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Problem:
The purpose of this design project is to find the most cost-effective method of adding 10 minutes of buffer energy storage to a 100 MW wind farm.

Solution:
After assessing the technical feasibility of the identified energy storage technologies, the team performed economic analysis to find the most cost-effective method. Based on the economic analysis, the team recommends the use of lead acid batteries if the number of cycles required per day is less than or equal to 1. The team recommends the use of lithium-ion batteries if the number of cycles required per day is between 1 and 3. The team recommends the use of flywheels if the number of cycles required per day is more than or equal to 3 cycles.

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