Throughout the quest to transition to renewable energy, one problem has proven elusive to researchers: how to store large amounts of clean energy. Typically, clean energy has been dependent on the weather: wind energy needs wind, solar energy requires sun, and the lack of either means a lack of energy. To circumvent this, Oregon’s Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility is combining an array of renewable energy sources with batteries to create 24/7 clean electric energy. Built by Portland General Electric and NextEra Energy Resources, the first-of-its-kind facility captures energy from the sun and wind which produces a direct current voltage. That power then goes into an inverter where it is converted to the appropriate voltage to be stored in batteries. Currently, the batteries store 30 megawatts of energy (enough to power the city of Tigard, Oregon for four hours) with the entire facility generating up to 350 megawatts of clean energy. Learn more about this breakthrough at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Image courtesy of Kristyna Wentz-Graff/OPB