Tesla will build and supply the energy storage facility to be installed at BP’s Titan 1 wind energy power plant in South Dakota, US, the company has revealed. The new energy storage facility is expected to be installed during the second half of 2018, according to the company.
While the move to select Tesla as the company to install the energy storage facility may have been partly motivated by PR strategies, the move still represents part of a broader push by BP in recent times to expand the renewable energy sector side of its operations in the US.
The new facility will reportedly be BP’s first large-scale battery-based energy storage facility anywhere in the world.
“Lessons from the project will enable BP to make better informed decisions when evaluating and developing battery applications in the future,” a statement from the company read. “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.”
Reuters provides the details: “Tesla will supply the 212 kilowatt (KW)/840 kilowatt hour battery at BP’s Titan 1 windfarm in South Dakota in the second half of this year. It operates 12 other windfarms in the United States.”
“Providing large-scale battery power to windfarms allows them to store energy when wind is ample and make electricity available when demand is high, offering a crucial commercial advantage to an otherwise volatile energy source…Several oil firms 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.
“Vitol-owned VPI Immingham has developed a 50 megawatt, grid-connected battery portfolio in Britain. BP estimates renewables could account for around 10% of global energy demand by 2035, up from 4% currently.”
That last projection there doesn’t exactly represent a ringing endorsement, but when taken together with the decision discussed above it does seem to be one that has pushed BP to make some (relatively minor to date) business changes. Whether or not these changes are a presage of much larger changes to come remains to be seen. I’ll note that I’m skeptical, though, that BP will ever willingly forgo potentially lucrative fossil fuel development projects.
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