T&D World Minute with Rick Bush: The Tallest Wind Turbines

On a ridge outside Gaildorf, Germany, Max Bogl Wind AG installed the world’s tallest wind turbines with hub heights varying from 155 to 178 meters. The four turbines installed generate up to 10 GWh per year each. That is just huge! But here is the cool part. This installation is designed to include pumped hydro with water stored in pools located within the tower foundations. Now that is uber creative.  These pools can generate an additional 70MWh of pumped storage that can be disbursed for up to four hours.  The electricity is generated using GE 3MW class generators along with software and analysis available over GE’s Predix cloud platform.

And over the same time frame, The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in California installed a 30 MW, 20 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system. The battery system performs a couple of roles. IT enables the district to black-start units at its El Centro generation station. The battery system provides the needed frequency regulation and power balancing to deal with the fluctuations that come with renewables. It also effectively provides spinning reserves by acting as extra generating capacity.

Look for more fascinating uses of energy storage that will have profound impacts on the way we operate our T&D systems. Mark my words, 2018 is the year of storage. This is a T&D Minute.

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