Battery Backup For An Entire City

The city of Presidio, Texas, has only one aging transmission line connecting it to the US electric grid, so power outages are very common.

To battle chronic power outages and electrical fluctuations, the city is coming up with an unusual solution: a Texas-sized battery backup!

The hoped-for remedy is a battery, a Texas-size battery, which could eventually end up playing an important role in wider use of green power generation such as solar and wind. The U.S. $25 million system, which is now charging and is set to be dedicated April 8, will be the largest use of this energy storage technology in the United States.

The four-megawatt sodium-sulfur (NaS) battery system consists of 80 modules, 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms) each, constructed by the Japanese firm NGK-Locke. They were shipped to Long Beach, California, in December and transported to Texas aboard 24 trucks.

The cost of the battery system includes $10 million just to construct the building in which it will be housed and the new substation it requires.


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Micro-Turbines are basically jet engines connected to an electrical generator. They produce boat-loads of electricity for as long as the fuel (natural/propane/methane/whatever) is fed to the turbine. Since you don't have to transport the electricity far (i.e. generator to user distance), you don't need the hefty transport penalty of boasting the voltage way up to move it and then way down to use it.
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You know it has to be said: Hey, Governor Perry, would there by chance be any federal funds involved in this project? I thought you didn't want anything to do with the federal government.
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