Xcel Systems has installed one of the first utility systems in the United States that uses a giant battery system to store wind power. A series of sodium sulfur batteries from the Japanese company, NGK Insulators, LTD., is said to create about seven megawatt hours of power. The research in battery technology has led to some amazing breakthroughs. Xcel systems have been leading the way with wind to battery technology.
Twenty batteries can create about one megawatt hour of power in almost a flash- which is enough power to run five hundred, average American homes for seven full hours. The batteries are meant to store wind energy at night and then contract with the utility companies to release the stored energy as needed throughout the day. This is a huge leap in the use of wind energy for a viable alternative energy source, eliminating many of the major drawbacks to this type of energy like the unreliability of the wind itself.