Wind energy without wind could be possible in 2009

In 2009, Xcel Energy Inc. will collaborate with the state of Minnesota and GridPoint, a Virgina-based power grid management firm, to test the first battery in the country capable of storing wind energy. This new technology was built in Japan and shipped to Luverne, Minn., where electricity generated by the Minwind Energy wind turbines will be stored. S&C Electric Co. expects the equipment will be completely installed by April. Dick Kelly, chairman and CEO of Xcel, said in a Star Tribune article that the technology has the potential to reduce the impact caused by the variability and limited predictability of wind-energy. Xcel invested $3.6 million in the project, while the Minnesota Renewable Development Fund contributed $1 million and GridPoint chipped in $750,000. The University of Minnesota will analyze the battery system and grid connection. As part of the Southeast Como Neighborhood AssociationâÄôs Green Village program, University student interns have been working on promoting XcelâÄôs WindSource in the community. The Greeks Going Green chapter at the University has also expressed interest in installing WindSource in fraternity and sorority chapter houses.