Grid power storage startup catches up with industry leaders

Xtreme Power, based in Austin, Texas, has just increased its total commissioned battery storage to 77 megawatts, bringing it within reach of other industry leaders.

Xtreme has been on a bit of a roll lately. In December, customer Duke Energy turned on its 36-megawatt, 24-megawatt-hour Xtreme energy storage system at its Notrees wind farm in Texas, bringing the startup’s total commissioned grid battery base to 77 megawatts. That’s closing in on such big energy storage players as AES Energy Storage, which has installed more than 100 megawatts around the globe, or BYD, which last year built the world’s largest installation, a 36 megawatt-hour grid-scale lithium-ion battery, and has plans for more in China.

Xtreme also expanded projects in Hawaii and Alaska, and launched a new battery for frequency regulation, a fast-reacting, high-value type of grid energy service, for mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM. This month brings more news for Xtreme, including a capital charge-up.

In addition to the recent jump in storage capacity, Xtreme is also partnering with Samsung to install battery storage system at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Also this week, Xtreme announced an interesting project with Samsung SDI, the lithium-ion battery arm of the South Korean electronics giant. The plan is for a 1-megawatt, 1-megawatt-hour battery storage system at Lubbock, Texas’ Reese Technology Center. The DOE stimulus grant-funded project is being done in partnership with the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies (CCET), and will be run by the South Plains Electric Cooperative (SPEC), a rural co-op with a lot of wind power it wants to manage.

In this case, Xtreme won’t be supplying its unusual solid-state battery technology to the partnership. Rather, it’s connecting Samsung’s lithium manganese oxide battery to its battery management system -- the software, controls and integration platform Xtreme has built to manage that energy storage capacity for the grid.

While battery grid storage has been an issue for the renewable energy industry, it recently has been making great strides in storage technology and capabilities, including hundreds of megawatts of storage worldwide. Even though there are still some kinks that need be worked out, this is a good starting point for for making renewable energy sources more accessible.