Minnesota firm aims to store a small slice of power grid

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2013 - 11:44 PM

A Minnesota company, using conventional battery technology, is trying to sell electricity storage to utilities, businesses and homes.

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  • Comments

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fdrebinFeb. 4, 13 9:23 PM

$10,000 for 2-3 hrs a day. et's see. My electric bill averages $100 per month, so at the most I could save about 12.5% of that or about 12.5 bucks a month. Assuming there is no maintenance cost to the system, i could pay for it in as little as 67 years if I ignore net present value of the initial investment. Count me in !!

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jcinmnFeb. 4, 1311:41 PM

If I could buy power cheaper at off peak hours this might work but homeowners cannot get an off peak deal so ..... not interested

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wa0tdaFeb. 5, 13 5:12 AM

With current battery technology and pricing these units remain a specialty item for essential backup. I'd consider it if I were "at the end of the line" and had frequent outages, but there are cheaper choices for that, too.

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physics1966Feb. 5, 13 5:47 AM

The way I would feel about this article hinges on one thing that was not reported: Does the CEO of this 23-person firm have an engineering degree from a respected school? Business degree is no good for a 23-person budding technology company. The guy in charge needs to be an engineer. When the company gets big, then you might need a business guy at the helm. Not before that, though. If this guy has an Electrical or Chemical Engineering degree from U of M or University of Wisconsin, then it is double thumbs up for me.

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MN's loneliest REPFeb. 5, 13 5:52 AM

Fdrebin....you nailed it. The ROI on these solar deals need to improve drastically if the average consumer is ever going to buy-in.

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edinawaterFeb. 5, 13 7:18 AM

The most expensive part is the batteries. Most batteries last about five years. If the payoff is more than five years it may as well be infinite. fdrebin, you optimistically assumed you could charge the batteries for free. Even with an off-peak discount you would have to pay at least 50% of the going rate. In stationary installations there are other ways to store energy. For example, you could spin a flywheel or pump water up a hill.

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timandtiaFeb. 5, 13 7:22 AM

What a nice new concept. I hope that this company can get this product going. Sounds good to me and plus, they are from MN.

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joe_mnFeb. 5, 13 7:34 AM

these are backup systems for outages or brown out conditions. there is no "savings" involved. the avg homeowner cannot buy cheap power at night to store. you think xcel sells cheap power at 3am? to an avg homeowner?

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thehoffersFeb. 5, 13 7:49 AM

If it doesn't change the game, it's only a get rich quick scheme for the company owner. To change the game on electricity, this would have to slash costs drastically.

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gyroboyFeb. 5, 13 8:26 AM

I can tell you from experience this is not economically sustainable. The only way this pays for itself is if there is a cost benefit to have uninterrupted power, say as in life saving situations. Unfortunately there is not a cost effective means to "store" generated power. Chemical storage such as coal and natural gas is still the cheapest way to go.

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