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2016-11-03. Batteries That Make Use of Solar Power, Even in the Dark.

posted Nov 28, 2016, 8:42 AM by Alan Gould   [ updated Nov 28, 2016, 8:43 AM ]

By Stanley Reed, The New York Times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: HARTWELL, ENGLAND — A new cash crop has sprung up on Nicholas Beatty’s enchanting farm near here. Rows of gray solar panels range over about 25 acres, turning sunlight into electricity, as dog-size muntjac deer hop by. The panels themselves, trouble-free money earners that feed into the electric grid, are no longer unusual on farms in Britain or other countries. What’s new in Mr. Beatty’s field is a hulking 40-foot-long shipping container. Stacked inside, in what look like drawers, are about 200 lithium-ion cells that make up a battery large enough to store a substantial portion of the electricity the solar farm puts out. ...Power prices in Britain and elsewhere rise and fall, sometimes strikingly, during the day and over the year, depending on the supply and demand. By storing power in the battery, Mr. Beatty can feed it into the grid when prices are high. ...Mr. Beatty is one of many entrepreneurs and businesses trying to play the fast-shifting electric power landscape. The global effort to combat climate change is forcing what had been an old-line business to evolve. Polluting, coal-fired power stations are closing, while clean energy sources like wind and solar are growing fast....  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/business/energy-environment/batteries-that-make-use-of-solar-power-even-in-the-dark.html