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Xcel Energy has begun testing battery-storage technology that captures wind energy and moves it to the electricity grid when needed. This is the first U.S. application of the battery as a direct wind energy storage device.

S&C Electric Company was contracted to install the battery along with the S&C Smart Grid Storage Management System (SMS). The SMS is a fast-response automatic controller that interfaces between the stored energy system and the utility, providing the ability to store energy in a battery storage system, and to control the discharge of power when required. It can address such issues as intermittent power production with production peaks and valleys, VAR control on generation, SCADA control of wind production, and improved integration of wind generation into the standard generation production schedule. The project is located in Beaver Creek, Minnesota, about 30 miles east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The battery installation is adjacent and connected to a nearby 11MW wind farm owned by Minwind Energy, LLC.
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