Environment & Science

LADWP partners with Chinese company BYD, LA-based Quallion to develop new power batteries

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Two companies will work with the city of Los Angeles to develop ways to store large amounts of renewable energy.

Renewable power sources don't always work when the people who use electricity want them to. Solar energy goes to the grid during the day. Wind can pick up power at night.

That's why, for utilities in California adding renewable energy to their portfolios, figuring out how to harness what's generated is a very big deal. State law even requires utilities to adopt some sort of energy storage technology within six years.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has signed agreements with Chinese company BYD and with L.A.-based Quallion to work on developing large scale storage for energy from the Pine Tree Wind Farm, the DWP's project in the Tehachapi Mountains. Both companies have set out research goals, timelines and plans for what they will deliver to the DWP.

Each company has developed technology for smaller batteries. But improving this technology to make it work on a large scale is a pioneering effort.