We have talked about the importance of beefing up our electrical grid with batteries before, and it’s still relevant today. Because of how uneven wind-generated power can be, equipping turbines with batteries is a surefire way to make consistent electricity.
Take for instance Glidepath Power Solutions and their recent acquisition of 8 Texas wind farms for the purpose of retrofitting the older turbines with revamped amperage power. More specifically, Glidepath is equipping the turbines with batteries that will have much more electricity storage capacities to strengthen the reserves available to a dangerously depleted grid–as this summer’s heat has illuminated.
The Glidepath acquisition was from Exelon and totals 149 Megawatts (MW) in total. And according to Utility Dive, Glidepath wholeheartedly believes that retrofitting turbines with better batteries will prevent the problems that ERCOT faced this summer.
According to that same source, “GlidePath’s acquisition brings its operating portfolio to more than 445 MW, which is in addition to its development pipeline of more than 1 GW of battery storage projects across the country.” So they are doing a lot to make wind more efficient for Texas energy.
A Shift Towards Retrofitting and Battery Storage
Earlier this year, General Electric reported they would be scrapping a plant in California even though it had 20 years left in its lifecycle. Instead of getting its traditional use, it will be mothballed and turned into a battery storage site. This will most likely happen more frequently in the upcoming years as renewable energy continues to grow, meaning that a demand for battery storage will be needed to match the output.
In short, grids need more backup reserves to avoid blackouts and system failures. This push to retrofit legacy technology into something much more sustainable is going to only push smarter and stronger grids.
Storage Development Directions for Wind Farms
John Parnell, a contributing writer for Forbes, calls the scale the Glidepath’s acquisition a telling sign that storage development is only going to get bigger. And many are chiming in and agreeing that renewables can be even more powerful if wind energy can be stored more efficiently and longer in Texas.
So, all of this is obviously a positive thing. Retrofitting inefficient turbines will only strengthen the grid. But it also begs the question as to how much energy should be invested in retrofitting versus building new wind farms with the updated technology. We will see how this recent development unfolds in the years to come.