BP to pilot Tesla battery storage at South Dakota wind farm

BP are launching a battery storage program at their existing Titan 1 wind farm in South Dakota in the United States with help from Tesla.

The pilot program is the oil and gas giant’s first venture into battery storage in its U.S. wind farm business.

wind turbines at BP Titan 1 wind farm in South DakotaThe purpose of the pilot battery storage program at the Titan 1 wind farm in South Dakota is to improve efficiency. Image: BP

BP have agreed to purchase a 212kW/840kWh Tesla battery to meet the wind farm’s internal electricity needs for when there is no wind.

The battery will store electricity when the turbines are turning and generating power and make it available whenever there is a need.

Step forward

BP see the battery storage program as a “potential step forward in the performance and reliability of wind energy.”

The Titan 1 wind farm, which occupies 7,500 acres in Hand County, SD, is wholly owned and operated by BP Wind Energy.

It is not large in comparison with other wind farms in the U.S. It has 10 turbines and generates 25MW, which is enough electricity to power around 6,700 average homes.

BP want to use the pilot program to learn how to use energy storage more effectively and help them move toward a low-carbon future.

The company is involved – as owners, partners, and/or operators – in several other wind farms in the U.S.

The largest wind energy installation that BP operate in the U.S. consists of three wind farms – Fowler Ridge 1, 2, and 3 – in Benton County, IN.

Altogether, the Fowler Ridge farms span more than 42,000 acres, have a total of 355 wind turbines and generate 600 MW of electricity.

Part of broader low-carbon plan

BP expect to switch on the Tesla battery at Titan 1 between July-December 2018. Once operation starts, BP engineers will be using lesson learned to inform future battery development programs.

The battery storage project is part of BP’s 0.5$bn annual investment in low-carbon technology which spans five areas: low-carbon and bio products; carbon management; power and storage; advanced mobility; and digital.

Renewable are the fastest-growing energy sector and BP anticipate it growing from today’s 4 percent of global demand to more than 10 percent by 2035.

“As a global energy business,” says Dev Sanyal, who is BP chief executive of alternative energy, “BP is committed to addressing the dual challenge of meeting society’s need for more energy, while at the same time working to reduce carbon emissions.”

Nevertheless, the energy giant still expects oil and natural gas to remain the mainstay of their business for several decades.

“Despite the attraction of renewables,” group chief executive of BP Bob Dudley told a conference last year, “the world can’t run on them alone and won’t be able to for some time.”