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BP Partners With Tesla on Battery Storage for Wind Farms

BP Partners With Tesla on Battery Storage for Wind Farms

Author: Eric Walz   

LONDON — Petroleum giant BP has teamed up with Tesla to build its first battery storage project at one of its U.S. wind farms as part of an effort to expand its renewable energy business, the energy group said on Tuesday.

Tesla will supply the 212 megawatt (MW)/840 megawatt hour battery at BP's Titan 1 wind farm in South Dakota in the second half of this year. It operates 12 other windfarms in the United States.

The large scale batteries supplied by Tesla will be able to store power generated on windy days and make it available when electrical demands are high, offering a crucial commercial advantage to an otherwise volatile energy source that relies on the wind to generate power.

"Lessons from the project will enable BP to make better informed decisions when evaluating and developing battery applications in the future," BP said in a statement.

"The project also supports BP's broader strategy to invest half a billion dollars annually into low-carbon technologies, including projects within its established renewables portfolio as well as in new low-carbon businesses."

Several oil companies have already invested in battery technology. Norway's Statoil plans to use a battery system, called Batwind, with its Hywind floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland.

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Tesla built world's largest lithium-ion battery at a South Australian wind farm

In November of last year, Tesla completed the construction of the world's largest lithium-ion battery at a South Australian wind farm. The battery in South Australia was built specifically for the purpose of addressing the state's unreliable power grid and has the capacity to power 100,000 homes for an hour in the event of a power outage.

BP estimates renewables could account for around 10 percent of global energy demand by 2035, up from 4 percent currently.

Almost all power grids have a backup power source designed to be dormant during periods of low-energy need, and powered up when needed. However, most of these these backup power sources are fossil-fuel powered. The success of Tesla's battery system, which is recharged solely by wind power, might demonstrate that a renewable battery-storage system could one day eliminate the need for backup fossil-fuel plants.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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