Battery project will stabilize solar power

Alliant Energy installs its first utility-scale battery storage system

WELLMAN, Iowa – December 11, 2019 – A utility-scale battery in rural Wellman is helping Alliant Energy meet the needs of its customers, while also avoiding a rebuild of the local energy grid.

“Battery storage has the potential to be a more cost-effective way to modernize the grid to meet the demands of our customers, “says J.P. Brummond, Vice President of Business Planning.

The 650-kilowatt, 2.7-megawatt-hour battery is in a rural area where numerous customers have installed their own solar panels and expanded the load on the system. A local battery provides an energy management option that benefits everyone and doesn’t restrict local solar production.

The battery works as a buffer to level out power fluctuations caused by changes in the sun’s intensity, and provides stabile electricity for our customers. Previously, these challenges were met by replacing the existing lines and equipment with new lines and poles.The battery is half as expensive as a local system rebuild.

The battery will also be charged and discharged to reduce costs for all customers. When fully charged, it can store enough energy to power roughly 650 nearby homes for four hours. It was energized earlier this month.