Several new types of battery, each capable of cost-effectively storing the energy output from a wind or solar farm, are finally being hooked up to power grids. The so-called grid batteries could lower the cost of renewable energy by eliminating the intermittency problem that arises when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
On Wednesday, Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based startup that makes one such battery, announced that the technology will allow a small electricity grid in Hawaii to run around the clock on solar power.
Conventional batteries would be too expensive or unreliable to use for grid-scale storage. The new batteries coming online use materials and manufacturing processes that not only lower costs but should also allow them to last for decades (see “Storing the Sun” and “A Battery to Prop Up Renewable Energy Hits the Market”).