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BOB, America’s Biggest Sodium Sulfur Battery, Powers a Texas Town
Posted By Sarah Parsons On April 6, 2010 @ 9:50 am In global development,green technology,Policy,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | 16 Comments
They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Apparently that’s true for batteries, too. Presidio, Texas , recently built a giant sodium sulfur battery  that’s powerful enough to provide energy for the entire town. Not only will the battery serve as a back-up source of power, other utilities can use similar batteries to store energy generated by renewables.
BOB, short for “Big-Old Battery,”  began charging up this week. The giant sodium sulfur powerhouse, which is literally the size of a house, can store four megawatts of power for up to eight hours. Before BOB came online, a single, 60-year-old transmission line was the only thing connecting Presidio to the grid. The town frequently experienced power outages. BOB serves as a much-needed back-up plan, and it holds enough power to generate electricity for the whole town.
BOB is the first sodium sulfur battery  in Texas and the biggest one in existence in the US. Electric Transmission Texas ponied up $25 million to build the battery, and will add $60 million to build a second transmission line by 2012.
Batteries like BOB  are useful for towns like Presidio, but they can also be used by utilities themselves. In America’s archaic grid system, electricity generation and usage must occur simultaneously, a huge problem for renewables like wind and solar, which generate power sporadically. Bringing on giant batteries to store power can ensure more renewables are brought online before a smart grid  can be put in place.
Via Popular Science 
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 Presidio, Texas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidio,_Texas
 giant sodium sulfur battery: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-04/texas-town-turns-monster-battery-backup-power
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/04/06/bob-americas-biggest-sodium-sulfur-battery-powers-a-texas-town/pvt-solar-lead-01-2/
 Electric Transmission Texas : http://www.ettexas.com/
 smart grid: http://www.oe.energy.gov/smartgrid.htm
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