Students at two Indiana schools to experiment with energy storage

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INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - Students at Bloomington High School South and Northwestern School Corporation in Kokomo will be saving renewable energy for future use.

Bloomington South, which already uses some solar panels, will now also test a storage system to capture solar power for use when the sun isn’t shining.

Meanwhile, Northwestern School Corporation students in Kokomo will be harnessing the wind and storing its energy. Northwestern already has a wind turbine. It will now also test a storage system to capture wind power for use when the wind isn’t blowing.

Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) have partnered with Southern Indiana’'s Battery Innovation Center to install energy storage systems at the schools.

Duke Energy is funding $1 million in research at the Battery Innovation Center near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to study how battery storage can maximize renewable power sources such as rooftop solar panels and small wind turbines and integrate them into the electric grid. The school projects are an extension of the larger initiative. “

"The systems we install at the schools will test the benefits of energy storage as well as serve as a living learning lab for students,"” said Battery Innovation Center President David Roberts. "“Technology that can store energy is a way to advance renewable energy sources such as wind and solar which are clean but not always available when power is needed. Energy storage could unlock the full potential of renewable energy sources.”"

"“We'’re going to give our students a firsthand look at cutting-edge energy research,"” said Bloomington South science teacher Amanda Figolah. “"They will see how energy storage might one day compensate for the effects of weather on renewable energy sources such as the solar panels we have on site. We appreciate Duke Energy, the OUCC and the Battery Innovation Center making this possible for us.”"“

"We’'ve had a wind turbine on site since 2012, and our students study renewable energy as part of our curriculum,"” said Harold Seamon, assistant superintendent of the Northwestern School Corporation. "“This takes their study to the next level. We appreciate the partners who made this possible, including State Rep. Heath VanNatter for recommending our school.”"

The school programs will begin in early 2016.

About the Battery Innovation Center

The Battery Innovation Center is a unique public-private partnership and not-for-profit organization that incorporates leadership from world-class universities, commercial enterprises, and government organizations to focus on the rapid development, testing and commercialization of safe, reliable and lighter weight energy storage systems for commercial and defense organizations. Located adjacent to Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, the Battery Innovation Center provides both a virtual collaborative network of capabilities needed for development of next generation energy storage solutions as well as a new, state-of-the-art, $15.6 million energy research lab. Visit for more information.

About Duke Energy Indiana

Indiana Duke Energy Indiana'’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 810,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’'s largest electric supplier. More information about the company is available at

About Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC'’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving.