Co-op Month: Inspiring Innovation

Minnesota Valley Battery

Mike Dietz, technical services supervisor, and Pete Mladek, apparatus technician, test a battery installation in the home of a Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative member.

Technology is ever-changing and moves quickly.

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative in Jordan, MN, is exploring technology needs and looking toward the future. They see potential in battery storage systems as a component to their demand response program.

Ryan Hentges

Ryan Hentges, vice president of Corporate Services at Minnesota Valley

Batteries installed in member’s homes could be charged when demand for electricity is low. When the cooperative system is reaching a billing peak, usually between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., the homes could be isolated from the gird and powered by the batteries for a few hours. The batteries would be installed in garages and are about the size of two mini fridges. A 5-kilowatt battery could provide about 11 kilowatt-hours of electricity, or enough to power a home for about two hours.

Use of the batteries could lower Minnesota Valley’s billing peak, and lower their power supply cost, which will save money for the consumer-members.

Ryan Hentges, vice president of Corporate Services at Minnesota Valley, spoke about the pilot project with the Cooperative Research Network and how the members have stepped up to take part. To find out what Hentges had to say and learn how this project is funded, check out the full story found in the Sept-Oct 2012 issue of Basin Today Magazine: Basin Electric and the membership building a better world.

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