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E.ON UK plans giant battery to store wind power

The British arm of German utility E.ON said on Thursday it was developing a giant battery to store wind and solar power for times of high demand.

The prototype will be the size of four large shipping containers and contain the power of 10 million standard AA batteries – 1MW of electricity for four hours, said E.ON UK.

The battery should be operational by late 2009 and will help solve one of the main problems of wind and solar power, added the power firm, which has around 8.1 million electricity and gas customers.

“Green power is only generated from wind farms when the wind blows, and that might not be when the power’s needed by customers,” said Bob Taylor, MD of Energy Wholesale and Technology.

“By researching and developing this battery we can store the power generated by wind farms any time and then use it when our customers need it the most. A school with solar panels can store the power generated at weekends and use it when the kids are back in school.”

E.ON also announced a 40 million pounds research fund for energy storage and other promising energy technologies.

reuters.co.uk

13 September 2007