If you have a device, whether it’s one that uses electricity or generates it, the ability to store excess energy in a battery increases that device’s reliability and flexibility. The same holds true for renewable energy generation. The expansion of energy storage infrastructure is integral to advance our transition to more sustainable renewable energy.
Excess energy storage
The amount of electricity a renewable energy facility generates varies constantly. On a cloudy day at a solar site or a still day at a wind farm, production can be low. When the wind blows strongest and the sun shines brightest, a facility can generate so much electricity that there’s excess – and that can be captured and stored with a battery.
When the sun goes down or demand increases, we can release stored energy onto the grid. That’s how batteries help us meet our customers’ needs.
Energy storage system prices have fallen 89% since 2010, making them more affordable and cost-effective than ever.
As the electric grid continues to evolve, we lead the way with new and innovative solutions – all while we reduce reliance on fossil fuels and avoid costly infrastructure upgrades. We’ve operated battery storage systems for several years. The technology has advanced rapidly and enabled new projects to deliver greater efficiency, safety and affordability.
We have five batteries currently in operation ranging from a 16-kilowatt battery in Sauk City, Wisconsin, to a 5-megawatt (MW) battery in Portage, Wisconsin. This summer, we’ll bring another 5-MW battery online in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We’re also developing a microgrid pilot project, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, to create a small-scale power grid with islanding capability. This means the grid for Boaz, Wisconsin, with a population of 156, can be disconnected from the traditional grid to operate independently in the event of a power outage or service disruption.
We’ve announced plans for utility-scale energy storage at the Duane Arnold Solar Project, a 200-MW solar project with a 75-MW battery at the same site. The Iowa Utilities Board is currently reviewing this project. It could be operational in 2024.
Pilot energy storage programs give us the insights we need to be ahead of the game when it comes to energy generation and delivery. We constantly look for new ways to deliver the safe, reliable energy our customers expect.
Energy storage is one way we advance our Clean Energy Blueprint, a roadmap to accelerate our transition to renewable energy. Learn more about how the elements work together to diversify our energy mix and increase reliability for all customers.
Energy storage systems help increase reliability
Chris is a Communications Partner specializing in Alliant Energy’s renewable investments. Coming from a journalism background, he’s excited to tell the story of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint and other renewable trends in new and exciting ways.