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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Electricity Storage

Electricity storage is currently very expensive, but prices are coming down and it may be feasible in the next 5 or more years to store electricity at financially affordable rates.

 

http://www.agmrc.org/renewable_energy/renewable_energy/the-coming-electricity-storage-revolution/

 

"Conclusion

Electricity storage has the ability to greatly increase the adoption of intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind by storing electricity when the sun shines and wind blows for usage during cloudy and still days. Although not yet cost effective, many analysts believe electricity storage will achieve cost effectiveness within the next few years. When it does, the electricity storage industry will have the potential to transform the way we generate and use electricity. Electricity utilities may be in for big changes as users may have the ability to become self-sufficient (off grid). Conversely, utilities have the opportunity to utilize electricity storage, along with other technologies, to provide better products and services for their customers. All of this points to a myriad of changes coming in the electricity industry that will lead to more renewable electricity generation and more efficient generation and distribution."

 

This technology is very interesting.  Many farmers might like the idea of "going off the grid" with some energy uses, such as irrigation pumps, water pumps, animal housing needs and so forth.  It may make electric cars and farm vehicles feasible, at least for the smaller ones.

 

What do you think?  Would you be willing to pay up if you could have more energy independence?

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10 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

Jim, I have followed " alternative energy" pretty closely, since electrical power is one of our major inputs, mostly for summer cooling fans on hog barns.

We are also cursed with one if the highest power rates anywhere I have checked on...our cooperative's management has built a state-of-the-art palace, largely on the backs of poor people. As families anpbandon the houses out here on the terrotiry of that utility, the remainders of us pay more and more, for the palace and the king and his court. It is disgraceful.

Yesterday, I made a reservation for Tesla Powerwall technology. I see a chance to try this here for off-grid applications, both for the house and office, and for our production facilities. I know the sizing our sustem takes...fir the house/ office/shop, it is well within the realm of possibility that we will go off-grid as soon as they can ship to us.

On our other houses in VA, I would very likely install at least enough for energency power...the usage is lower, and the rate more realistic on that cooperative. ( BTW, bothcooperatives buy wholesale power fro the same major provider. The problems are management and shrinking subscriber base.)

I also asked about dealership rights. Anyone left here in our area in NC would be stupid not to buy into this technology.

It is time for this rape of the population to end here. Many households are welfare supported, and many others get assistance for power, as a safety issue. There is this no oncentive fir management to control its impulses. I am dreaming of having my own power plant...and hope to accomplish that this year!
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OKdon
Senior Contributor

Re: Electricity Storage

I was just about ready to mention Tesla as a news item yesterday about them seriously entering the market of energy storage.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

I think now power companies have to buy extra electricity from someone producing it from alternate sources. Maybe expanding that program where you are given credits for extra electricity and let the power company "store" it for you for the cloudy days.  Since everyone is already presently hooked up to the grid, the power company could just use their generator less if more alternate sources are coming in.

 

That way if a lightening strike or tornado hit your windmill, you could just throw a switch and use the power company as a backup.  Power companies have to keep their generators fired, because restartup is very expensive.  And not every area is conducive to producing your own power, so there`ll probably always be a traditional power company anyway.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

Electric companies in .n.c have rebpnewablw ebergy requirements...so much from solar, even so much from hog farms (waste to energy, mostly covered lagoons for methane running gensets). The problem is, they charge you retail rate , pay you wholesale rate, so it isn't just a wash.

A lot of alternative energy uses require substations within two miles or ess ( solar), and substation capacity is mesring its saturation point. Unless more substations are built, we will be tapped out in NC ( with our great state tax credits piled on top of federal ones) in two years or less, from the estimates I have been given.

I will buy these Tesla gadgets at the prjces quoted. For a seven-kw daily cycling panel/battery at $3500', I would need three for the house/office in NC, where our rates are simply godawful. There is additional expense for inverters, and we'd need two for the two services there. I have a very capable electrician, and he treats me fair. I think 21 kw meets my load...we sized the enpmergency genset there at 20 kw. At let's say $15,000 turnkey, I'd pay ot out well within seven years, probably more like four to five. The Tesla is warranteed fir ten years, with an additional ten years availabke.

The house here in VA has a much less exhorbitant rate, so may just do a 10 kw energency backup here, although 7 kw daily would run us in all except very hot/ac season.

The best thing to me is energy independence. I can see where the commercial 100 kw units woukd power our entire farm, probably selling back power as we go much of the year, with no real genset worries after bad storms. Have to see what thise buggers cost, though. It's a hard proposition to ignore....

I even have a commercial space ready for a dealership, right on a major state highway. Really tempting....
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Wind
Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

Jim, nice rain going on just now so I do have time to respond.  Four years ago some company had some test holes drilled (the well driller was from your area who's last name stated with a G) 5 miles out from my front door.  Some previous geological survey was sure that the rock formation below was of the nature to store compressed air.  The plan was to use excess wind turbine power to run large air compressors to pump air down into the rock formation.  Then when the wind was not blowing they would reverse the compressed air up into air turbines generating electricity. After thousand of $ spent they concluded that the rock formation would not hold air.  Project abandoned.  

I have seen where some Amish that have a small wind turbine that pumps compressed air into a large old LP tank and use that air to run tools, fans and more.

I'm thinking near zero energy houses are something to look at.

Batteries are getting better. 

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

Gingerich well drilling, perhaps.  Theyv'e drilled a couple of wells for me.

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dnorris1
Contributor

Re: Electricity Storage

Interesting how things come around again.  Prior to 1950 all most all farms had a "wind charger" that stored electricity in a bank of glass batteries.  How be it only enough power to light the house.  They were off grid because there was no grid.  REA came through in the 1950's and very thankful for it. Generators atop the towers were replaced with TV antanna's and we were off to the races.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

REA may be a mixed blessing in a way. Had another hog producer tell me a day or two ago, he caught them doubling his charges, by multiplying his demand meter by twenty, instead of ten. Had to pay him back for a number of years of ovecharges. Need to check mine ASAP. That would really add up here....
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Wind
Advisor

Re: Electricity Storage

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