The two partners are installing a 1-megawatt solar project at the Solar Technological Acceleration Center in Aurora, Colo. SolarTAC was created in 2009 as a testing site for companies and organizations specializing in solar.
The 74-acre site provides a place where companies can test their technologies to see if they are ready to take to market or what improvements need to be made before taking them to market.
Xtreme Power is a Texas-based company specializing in utility-scale energy storage technologies.
Xtreme Power, which has partnered with local utility provider and a partner in the private SolarTAC facility, Xcel Energy, will test its storage system and how it can be integrated with solar, according to a press release from Xcel.
“One of the things the testing will look at, I believe, is: are there places where we can boost our voltage as the power goes down the line,” said Mark Stutz, spokesman for Xcel Energy
He said solar power, while often generating high levels of electricity during peak times, doesn’t always produce power at the most important times of day. For example, energy use spikes in the early evening hours as people return home from work but office buildings are still drawing power from the grid.
“The overarching goal from our perspective,” Stutz said, “is to see if there is a way to use the power when it’s being produced.”
The test project looks to show real-world results from the combination of storage systems with solar installations in order to better integrate energy output from renewable sources into the power grid, according to the release.
The project is expected to be operational right away, and the partners intend to share results with the public over the next three years, according to the release.
“We hope this demonstration will prove to be a pivotal point for PV solar energy combined with energy storage, and in turn underscore for utilities and other electricity providers that viable energy-storage systems can become a commercial reality,” said Xcel’s director of business planning Frank Novachek.
Image courtesy of Xtreme Power.