This week the EnerVault company in Stanislaus County, California unveiled two large energy storage tanks that are a part of a flow battery, which stores energy from the area’s solar panel systems. The battery is the largest flow battery in the world, and could play a significant role in California’s quest to develop larger and more efficient methods of energy storage.
Flow batteries store energy in tanks of electrolytes, which means that the large tanks outside Turlock, California contain a fluid of water and minerals in which energy can be stored. That fluid is pumped through individual batteries when they require power.
Energy can be obtained from solar power plants and wind farms, but the output of those facilities can be quite variable according to weather and other conditions. If that energy could be collected and stored on a large scale, then those supply sources could be evened out and made more reliable. Officials and industry experts in California see energy storage as a in important element of the state’s goal to shift to use of more renewable energy, and this demand has resulted in a young but quickly growing energy storage industry in the Bay Area.
The tanks were unveiled to the public on Thursday, May 22 in a ceremony with state and federal officials in attendance.