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Duke Energy gives $1M to renewable energy storage project

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Duke Energy is giving $1 million to a new southern Indiana research project on storing renewable energy as part of a 2012 settlement with the state.

The Herald Times reports research will take place at the Battery Innovation Center, which is adjacent to the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. Duke Energy is also partnering with the state Office of Utility Consumer Counselor for the project.

The settlement between the state office and Duke Energy was over costs to consumers in the construction of the company’s power generating station in Edwardsport.

A cap of roughly $2.6 billion was placed on construction costs that could be passed along to consumers. The settlement also required Duke Energy to give $1 million toward a collaborative clean energy initiative.

Research as part of the new project will focus on ways to store energy from sources such as rooftop solar panels and wind turbines for later use. The project also includes installation of storage systems at two schools that get Duke Energy service, with a preference for ones that already have renewable energy sources.

Anthony Swinger, from the utility consumer counselor’s office, said the collaborative effort to promote clean energy will benefit all Indiana consumers of electricity.

“The research going on at the Battery Innovation Center needs to continue and we all agreed to put this seed money there,” Swinger said.

The company says testing at the Battery Innovation Center is expected to begin this fall, while the school programs are scheduled to start in winter.