It's the dreaded question, especially when you have kids: "Do we have any more batteries?" That toy or gadget needs more power. While rechargeable batteries are a better choice than single-use ones, power companies are developing large-scale neighborhood battery installations in Detroit and Ohio.Unfortunately, they won't keep your toy running, unless it plugs in. The distributed battery storage projects, backed with smart grid demonstration grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, will test the idea of community energy storage, GreenTech Media writes.
American Electric Power will use part of a $75 million grant to install up to 100 25-kilowatt lithium-ion batteries in Ohio neighborhoods where peak power demands put strains on the existing electric distribution system.
"For customers, it could be considered a neighborhood battery, capable of powering seamlessly a small cluster of homes and businesses during outage events," the company explains.
Detroit Edison in Michigan also is using $5 million in DOE bucks for a smaller-scale community power storage project, to build utility-scale energy storage units in Metro Detroit.
With the coming promise (threat?) of electric cars, these systems could help ease the transition, experts say.
Battery sages, your thoughts on this are welcome.